Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jul 1:
More than two months after pictures of the cringing act went viral on the social media, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday reprimanded Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjeev Marik for touching the feet of Daitapatis during the Banajaga Yatra while on duty and in full police uniform.
Reliable sources said the chief minister called up Marik to his State Secretariat chamber this afternoon and reprimanded him for violating the service conduct rules.
He asked him of not to repeat this act in future, the sources said.
The chief minister asked the DGP to ensure smooth conduct of the Nabakalebara Rath Yatra and made it amply clear that the state government would not tolerate any untoward happening during the mega festival.
It may be mentioned that the DGP had touched the feet of senior Daitapatis at Gadakantunia and Adhangagada where the daru of Lord Sudarshan and Devi were located. The DGP was seen touching the feet of the Daitapatis in uniform.
The act of the DGP at a public place had sparked widespread ridicule and sharp reaction in the social media.
In his brief, neither-here-nor-there reaction on the issue, Marik said; “I have already given my reaction on the issue at the time. The Chief Minister asked me to ensure foolproof police bandobast during the Rath Yatra.”
The Chief Minister’s decision to act in a matter that had been discussed, commented upon and ridiculed two months ago is being attributed to the fact that the pictures have got a fresh lease of life in the wake of the royal mess that the Brahama Parivartan, the most important ritual of the Nabakalebara, was reduced to by Daitapatis widely seen as having the full backing of the ruling party.