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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Aug 13:

The Puri police yesterday put up the posters of eight absconding servitors of Sri Jagannath Temple here at key places in the town.

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Posters bearing the photographs of the eight servitors, who were declared as absconders after they didn’t depose before police in connection with the disturbance created during the Niladri Bije rituals, were pasted at public places like railway station, bus stand, district Collector’s office, Shri Mandir temple office and Town police station.

It has been mentioned in the posters that persons providing information about the servitors will be rewarded. If the servitors don’t surrender before police or court by September 12, the process for confiscation of their properties would start under Section-83 of the CrPC, police said.

Notably, eight servitors– Damodar Mahasuara, Jayakrushna Mahasuara, Saina Khuntia, Bhimsen Palankadhari, Ipsit Pratihari, Rabi Dash, Kashinath Khuntia and Bhagirathi Khuntia– who are accused of heckling the Puri District Collector Arvind Agarwal during the Niladri Bije rituals were declared as absconders by police on July 27.

Out of the eight servitors, the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) court here has issued non-bailable warrants (NBWs) against six sevayats.

It may be recalled that some sevayats had an altercation with the collector during the Niladri Bije ritual when he confronted them after the servitors and their kin alighted from the Taladhwaja chariot, in clear violation of High Court and Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) orders. The incident had led to the delay in the conduct of rituals and pahandi of Lord Sudarshan.