Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Jun 23:

The police are not at fault in the incident of touching of deities by devotees at the Snana Mandap during the Snana Yatra, said Sarthak Sarangi, superintendent of police, Puri.

snana yatra fiasco

“Police had no role in it since we had barricading arrangement until the end of Sahana Mela. During that period we had not allowed any devotee to touch the deities. After Sahana Mela was over we had shifted the barricade to make way for the bahuda pahandi (return procession in a queue of the deities) ritual of the Lords. At that point of time family members of sevayats keeping in with their tradition had darshan of the Lords. That has been brought to the knowledge of the temple administration. CCTV footage has been examined and whosoever has violated the decision, the temple administration will take action against them,” said Sarangi.

It may be noted here that there were reports of devotees touching the deities at the Snana Mandap (bathing altar) during the Snana Yatra on Monday despite a ban by the temple managing committee which had drawn flak from all quarters including Shankaracharya of Gobardhanpeeth Swami Nischalananda Saraswati and Puri king and Adyasevak (first servitor) of Lord Jagannath-Gajapati Maharaja Dibya Singha Deb.