Rituals delayed at Srimandir over cop-servitor face-off, devotees break barricades

Puri: Tension ran high at Sri Jagannath Temple here this morning after angry servitors barged into its premise by breaking barricades following a delay in rituals and darshan over cop-police face-off last evening.

As per the report, delay in Mangala Alati of Lord Jagannath and his siblings sparked resentment among lakhs of deities who had thronged the religious town today, failed to perform darshan of the deities.

While, Puri Collector Jyotiprakash Das and SP met the agitating servitors earlier this morning and held a discussion on the issue, it ended without any conclusion.

Yesterday, an appeal from SJTA Chief Pradipta Mohapatra during a dialogue with servitors on the issue had also failed.

Notably, a verbal duel erupted between some policemen deployed on duty at Srimandir and servitor Bhawani Shankar Mohapatra of Bhitarichha servitor group over allowing a Bengali family into the temple. While the cops demanded identity card for entry suspecting the family to be of foreign origin, they failed to show them. Later a fist-off took place between Mohapatra and the cops over the matter as the latter came in support of the tourists.

Two cases have been lodged by both the parties in the case at Singhadwara Police Station.

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