Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Nov 22:
The High Court on Friday asked the Odisha government to make proper and foolproof arrangements for every devotee to have darshan of the deities at Jagannath Temple ‘ during the Nabakalebara festival of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra at Puri next year.
Adjudicating on a PIL concerning the safety and security of devotees, a division bench comprising Justices A K Rath and B R Sarangi also asked the state government to take stringent action against those who would create disturbances and deprive the devotees from having darshan of the deities.
In a PIL filed in the High Court, advocate and social activist Chitta Ranjan Mohanty had stated that due to “mismanagement” and “maladministration” of the temple administration, priests and servitors often misbehave with the devotees. Women devotees in particular face “unbearable” humiliation.
Mohanty, who had annexed 12 FIRs against the servitors with his PIL, had alleged that reports of highhandedness by the servitors are often reported in newspapers and they bring a lot of criticisms and disrepute to the people of the state.
The bench also asked the state government to submit an action taken report (ATR) on the basis of recommendations made by Justice P K Mohanty Commission on safety and security of the devotees.
The Commission’s report has been accepted by the state government.