Restrictions on entry of devotees into sanctum sanctorum of Jagannath temple

Bhubaneswar
16 Dec 2017

Odisha government has imposed restriction on the entry of devotees including VVIPs into the sanctum sanctorum of Sri Jagannath Temple in Puri. The instruction in this regard was given by the Law Department to the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) based on the recommendation of the Commission of Inquiry into the affairs of Sri Jagannath Temple.
"Darshan of the deities in the temple by the devotees including the VIPs shall be restricted only up to Bhittar Katha (a wooden separation). None except Sevaks (priests) having actual Seba (ritual) in the Garvagruha (sanctum sanctorum) on any particular day should be allowed into the sanctum sanctorum," the letter of the law department to SJTA said.
"Entry into the sanctum sanctorum during 'Paramanik Darshan' and 'Sahana Mela Darshan' (public prayer) should be stopped," the letter read. The law department also said that the violators of the order should be heavily fined, the letter added. The law department has also asked collector and sp of Puri district to take necessary steps for implementation of the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into the affairs of Sri Jagannath Temple. The commission of inquiry is headed by Justice BP Das had earlier submitted its interim report to Odisha government and suggested several measures to streamline affairs at the 12th Century shrine.
However, Odisha Police on Friday registered cases against two persons on the charge of posting inside pictures of Sri Jagannath Temple in Puri in the social media. Akash Madake of Pune in Maharashtra and Jugal Kishore Vaishnav of Raipur in Chhattisgarh were booked under different sections of Sri Jagannath Temple Act, 1955 and Information Technology (IT) Act of 2000, police said. Singhdwar Police Station registered the cases on the basis of an FIR lodged by Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA). The duo had separately taken the photographs inside the 12th Century Temple with the help of their mobile camera during a visit to the temple with family members a few months ago.
The SJTA had already banned still cameras, video recording devices and mobile phones inside the temple in view of the security. "There are clear written instructions on the entry gates of the temple on the ban on carrying mobile phones inside the temple," said SJTA spokesman Laxmidhar Pujapanda adding that the security personnel deployed at the entry gates also search devotees. A state-wide hue and cry was expressed following posting of inside pictures of the temple in social media. (PTI)