Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Aug 10:
The Additional District Judge (ADJ) court here today granted bail to 11 sevayats (servitors) of Sri Jagannath Temple in Odisha’s Puri, who are accused of creating disturbance during Niladri Bije.
Those who have been granted bail by the court are Brundaban Pujapanda, Madhusudan Khuntia, Surya Narayan Pratihari, Raghunath Khuntia, Madan Mohan Khuntia, Shankar Palankadhari, Rabi Narayan Khuntia, Harihar Patri, Jaya Krushna Mohapatra and Rama Narayan Khuntia. However, the bail plea of another servitor Sanjay Khuntia was not taken up since he has applied for bail in the Orissa High Court, court sources revealed.
The court allowed these servitors to go on bail against furnishing bail bond of Rs 30,000 and two sureties, court sources added.
Further, the court while allowing them to go on bail imposed conditions that they would not threaten witnesses nor would they commit similar offences.
Besides, they have been directed by the court to appear before the investigating officer (IO) on every Saturday.
However, the eight servitors who have been proclaimed as absconders by the police in the case are still on the run.
It may be recalled here 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.