Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar/Puri, June 28:
Perturbed over photographs said to be of the secret rituals of Lord Jagannath doing the rounds in the social media and published in the mainstream media, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has asked the Law department to conduct an inquiry into the matter, said sources.
The Chief Minister has directed the Law department to probe the source of these photographs and to find out who is transmitting them.
On the other hand, Law Minister Arun Sahu has warned of strong action against individuals trying to sow seeds of misunderstanding in the minds of believers of Lord Jagannath.
Sources said appropriate legal action is being contemplated in this connection with the help of Crime Branch police and consultations in this regard are on.
A statement of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) issued on Saturday evening said that some photographs of Lord’s Nabakalebara festival circulating on social media platforms are fake and fabricated.
“Some photographs of Lord Shree Jagannath’s Brahma, patali (burial) ritual/process of the old idols and carving of new idols at the karma kutir are circulating on social media platforms. Some of these photographs have also been published by some newspapers. The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration has conducted an investigation to ascertain the truth behind these photographs. These photographs have been posted with the intent of spreading confusion among the general public and devotees,” the SJTA statement said.
“The so-called photograph of ‘Brahma’ circulating in social media is placed on a stitched cloth having yellow colour placed on a piece of marble. The photograph has been taken by flashing light on an object. This photograph is circulating on social media platform. Neither the anasara pindi nor places in and around it have marble floor. Similarly, stitched cloth is not used in Shree Mandir. Besides, photographs of Lord’s patali ritual or those of the idols being carved are not genuine either. These are intended to create confusion and misunderstanding,” the statement went on to say.
The SJTA has advised the public not to believe in or confuse with the photographs uploaded in the social media.
“The administration is probing the allegation of mobile phones being taken into the temple premises during the secret rituals. Anyone coming across such confusing photographs is requested to inform the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration,” appealed Laxmidhar Puja Panda, PRO, Shree Mandir.
In the meanwhile, there were allegations of several images of Lord Jagannath having been carved out of the darus apart from the four presiding idols of the temple.
However, this allegation has been refuted outright by senior Biswakarma (carpenter servitor) Krushna Chandra Maharana, who was part of the team of carpenter servitors engaged in the carving of the idols of presiding deities and is presently engaged in construction of chariots for the Rath Yatra. He said apart from the idols of the four deities, the only other idol carved out of the consecrated timber was that of Lord Madhab.