Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Jun 18:
The Daitapati Nijog today replied to the show cause notice served on it yesterday by the Shri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) asking it to explain the inordinate delay in Brahma Parivartan rituals of the deities in Odisha’s Puri town on Tuesday.
“We have explained in detail the reasons for the inordinate delay in the Brahma Parivartan ritual of the deities in a letter to the temple administration. Some Daitapatis misbehaved with us and went physical. They also scolded us with obscene language as a result of which the rituals were delayed,” Banajaga Dalapati (leader) and badagrahi of Lord Balabhadra Haladhar Das Mohapatra, informed the media here.
Though the temple administration had asked the Nijog to submit its reply within 15 days, the latter responded in less than 24 hours.
The decision to serve the show cause notice on the Daitapati Nijog, it may be noted, was taken at a meeting between the temple administration and the Daitapati Nijog presided over by SJTA chief administrator Suresh Mohapatra on Wednesday night.
On the basis of the report, the temple administration will initiate necessary action as per the recommendation of the Temple Managing Committee.
Meanwhile, expressing anguish over the incident, the Shankaracharya of Gobardhan Peeth Swami Nischalalanda Saraswati has asked the Odisha government stay away from the activities of the Shri Jagannath temple.
“The state government is responsible for all irregularities taking place in Shri Jagannath temple through treachery and gross misuse of power,” the seer pointed out.
Meanwhile, two senior Daitapati servitors on Wednesday made sensational disclosures about the unsavoury incidents that had taken place during the Brahma Parivartan of the deities.
Talking to the media, secretary of Daitapati Nijog Premananda Das Mohapatra said there was a jostle among a group of Daitapatis over who has the right to go inside and tocuh the Brahma, which terrified the senior Daitapatis.
“The situation became so tense that it seemed that the irate Daitapatis might pose a threat to the Brahma itself. Sensing trouble, we closed the Beharana Dwara of the Anasara Gruha,” he added.
Holding the temple administration responsible for the incident, he said the administration had sown the seeds of the dispute.
“The letter written by the temple administration to four Badagrahis to remain in charge of the Brahma Parivartan of the deities was the root cause of the dispute among the Daitapatis. Even as the dispute continued, the Daitapatis referred to the Swatwalipi (Record of Rights ) of the temple and found that though the Badagrahis are accorded the right to perform Brahma Parivartan, there is no restriction on the presence of other Daitapatis who can assist the Badagrahis in their work. The dispute took a violent turn as some irate Daitapatis attacked Haladhara Das Mohapatra. Due to this, the Brahma Partivartan rituals of the deities was delayed by four and half hours from 9 AM to 1.15 PM,” he informed.
On the other hand, senior Daitapati and Banajaga Dalapati (leader) and Balabhadra Badagrahi Haladhar Das Mohapatra has blamed two ruling BJD leaders—members of the Daitapati Nijog—responsible for the incident.
Elaborating on the incident, he said the pahandi (procession) of the deities had begun at 7 AM on Tuesday. The deities were taken to Anasara Pindi at 8.15 AM.
“After the deities were placed at the Anarasa Pindi, the four Badagrahis, including the Banajaga Dalapati, began the process of Brahma Parivartan of the deities. Trouble started when two BJD leaders—Ramakrushna Das Mohapatra, president of the Daitapati Nijog and chairperson of Odisha Cooperative Coir Corporation Ltd and Jayakrushna Das, president of Puri Nagar BJD—demanded the presence of their brother and father respectively with the four Badagrahis during Brahma Parivartan rituals. Due to this, the rituals were delayed by nearly five hours,” he added.
In a media briefing today, chairman of Nabakalebara Infrastructure Supervision Committee (NISC) and local BJD MLA Maheswar Mohanty, while terming the incident as ‘unfortunate’, said appropriate action will be taken after the review.