Under fire, SJTA suspends nine unruly servitors for Niladri Bije fiasco

— Six arrested for
manhandling mediapersons
— No action yet on
Collector’s FIRs

Puri, July 19: After coming
under severe criticism from opposition parties and lakhs of Jagannath devotees across
the globe for failing to smoothly conduct the Niladri Bije ritual of Lord
Jagannath and His siblings on Sunday night, Shree Jagannath Temple
Administration (SJTA) on Tuesday suspended nine unruly servitors for creating
chaos leading to pahandi (Ceremonial procession) ritual disruption of the deities.
Six arrested servitors  

On the other hand, six
servitors were arrested by the Singhaswar police for creating a ruckus and
attacking mediapersons while the latter were covering the unruly act of a group
of servitors on that day.

SJTA Chief
Administrator Suresh Chandra Moahapatra told reporters that Damodar Mahasuar, Ipsit
Pratihari, Rabi Das, Rabi Khuntia and Bhagirathi Khuntia, Jaykrushna Mahasuar,
Saina Khuntia, Bhimsen Palankadhari and Kashinath Khuntia on charges of delaying
Niladri Bije rituals, misbehaving with the district Collector and violating the
rules of chariot climbing as per the Shree Jagannath Temple Act-1954.
The action was taken
after examination of the CCTV footages of the Niladri Bije rituals, added
“The nine servitors were
suspended from duty under Clauses A and C of Section 21 (B) of the Shree Jagannath
Temple Act 1954,” added Mohapatra.
Mohapatra said the SJTA
will frame charges against them soon and disciplinary action will be initiated
against them.
Meanwhile, the six arrested
servitors, Bapi Khuntia, Shankar Palankdhari, Bipin Patri, Papun Mohapatra,
Baban Khuntia and Madan Khuntia, were sent to judicial custody after the Sub-Divisional
Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) court here rejected their bail petitions. They were
arrested for allegedly assaulting mediapersons during the Niladri Bije.
They all were booked under
Section 341, 323, 294, 307 and 34 of the IPC.
Interestingly, no
arrest has been made in response to two complaints filed by Collector Arvind
Agarwal so far.
On July 17 during the
Niladri Bije, tension ran high minutes before the deities were scheduled to be
taken from chariots into the Jagannath Temple after Puri Collector protested some
servitors who allegedly breached the security cordons and took their family
members, including women, onto the chariots, triggering a face-off with the
police and temple officials.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *