Puri: A 17-member team entered the centuries old Jagannath temple in Puri here today for structural inspection of Ratna Bhandar.
The team members including ASI core committee member NC Pal, High Court representative NK Mohanty, Puri Gajapati Maharaj’s representative Amiya Mohanty, Ratna Bhandar Mekap and SJTA chief administrator Pradeep Kumar Jena entered the shrine one by one.
The ODRAF team also entered the temple with search light and oxygen cylinders.
All the members went through frisking and body scanning before entering the Ratna Bhandar.
However, Puri SP Sarthak Sarangi was not allowed to enter the Ratna Bhandar as he did not wear gamuchha. He stayed at Nata Mandap inside the temple. Hence, total 16 members in the team entered the Ratna Bhandar.
As per the decision, the team members entered the Ratna Bhandar of Srimandir wearing cotton clothes (gamuchha), which was provided by the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA).
In view of the rumours on possible presence of poisonous snakes inside the Ratna Bhandar, a four-member of snake helpline team has also reached Srimandir ahead of the inspection.
Meanwhile, the security has been tightened outside the temple during Ratna Bhandar inspection. The district administration has deployed four platoons of police forces inside and outside the temple. Four officers in DSP rank have been deployed at four gates including Simhadwara of the shrine.
Earlier in the day, the Jagannath Sena activists staged symbolic protest by lighting earthen lamps in front of Srimandir opposing the SJTA’s decision to open Ratna Bhandar.