Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Jun 21:

In an open violation of the prohibition on touching deities imposed by the Niti Samanya Committee (ritual coordination committee) of the Shree Jagannath temple in Odisha’s Puri, several devotees were seen embracing and touching the idol of Lord Jagannath at Snanabedi on the occasion of Snana Yatra yesterday night.


According to sources, several devotees went close to the idols of the deities at Snanabedi at around 10.30 pm. Subsequently, they touched and embraced the deities violating the prohibition. The incident took place during Hatibesa Darshan of the deities. The devotees reached near the deities by breaking the barricades, sources said.

They were allegedly facilitated by some servitors for the purpose. The Pahandi ritual of the trinity was delayed over controversy emerging out of the incident, sources added.

“CCTV cameras have been installed at several places to monitor the movement of devotees. We will check the CCTV footage and if it is found that any servitor has taken any devotee near the deities, action will be taken against him,” said Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) chief administrator Suresh Mohapatra.