Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack/Puri, Oct 27:
Two servitors of Sri Jagannath Temple in Odisha’s Puri, who were allegedly involved in the Niladri Bije fiasco, were today granted relief by two separate courts of the state.
The Orissa High Court today granted interim stay on the proceedings of a lower court to proclaim servitor Damodar Mahasuara as an absconder. The Court also issued an interim stay on the Non-Bailable Warrant (NBW) issued against him by the lower court.
The High Court, however, directed Mahasuara to appear before the investigating officer (IO) and cooperate in the investigations.
Similarly, another servitor Kashinath Khuntia has been granted conditional bail by the Puri Additional District Judge Court-I in the case pertaining to his alleged involvement in the Niladri Bije fiasco.
The Court granted bail to Khuntia against two sureties and a bail bond of Rs 30,000.
Khuntia was arrested by the Simhadwara police on October 15.
It may be recalled that some servitors had an altercation with the collector during the Niladri Bije rituals when he confronted them after the servitors and their kin alighted from the Taladhwaja chariot, in clear violation of Orissa High Court and Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) orders. The incident had led to a delay in the conduct of rituals and pahandi of Lord Sudarshan.
Notably, Kashinath Khuntia and seven other servitors– Damodar Mahasuara, Jayakrushna Mahasuara, Saina Khuntia, Bhimsen Palankadhari, Ipsit Pratihari, Rabi Dash and Bhagirathi Khuntia– who are accused of heckling the collector during the Niladri Bije rituals, were declared as absconders by police on July 27.