9 Sri Jagannath temple servitors suspended for unruly behaviour

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Bhubaneswar, July 19 (IANS) Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) on Tuesday suspended nine temple servitors for unruly behaviour during ‘Niladri Bije’ rituals of the deities.

The action was taken against the servitors for misbehaving with the district collector and flouting norm over chariot climbing on Sunday.

The suspended servitors are Ipsita Pratihari, Rabi Das, Rabi Khuntia, Bhagirathi Khuntia, Damodar Mahasuar, Jaykrushna Mahasuar, Saina Khuntia, Bhimsen Palankadhari and Kashinath Khuntia.

“As per the Shree Jagannath Temple Act 1954, nine ‘sebayats’ have been suspended from service. Immediately draft charges will be framed against them and served. Disciplinary action will be taken against them as per the law,” SJTA chief Suresh Mohapatra.

Meanwhile, six servitors, who were arrested for attacking media persons during Niladri Bije (return of Lords to temple’s sanctum sanctorum), have been sent to jail.

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All six arrested were forwarded to the SDJM court on Tuesday where the court rejected their bail petitions and remanded them in judicial custody.

Notably, some female members of the servitors had climbed chariots of the deities on Niladri Bije despite the ban on this.

This also delayed the ‘Pahandi’ (ceremonial procession) of the deities to the temple. When the servitors were barred not to allow the female members onto the chariots, the servitors allegedly manhandled media persons and the district collector.



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