Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Mar 23:
Odisha Police has made elaborate security arrangements for the team comprising servitors of Shri Jagannath Temple in Puri, which is all set to begin the Banajaga Yatra in search of daru (logs) for the Lords from March 29.
Briefing newsmen here on Sunday after a meeting with the office-bearers of the Daitapati Nijog, Puri SP Ashish Kumar Singh said the Banajaga team would be accompanied by the police starting from the Baisi Pahacha inside Shri Jagannath temple to the Deuli Math in Kakatpur, search for daru and be with it till its return to Puri.
“The state government has appointed Satyajit Mohanty, Additional DG, as the nodal officer for the Nabakalebara festival. He will be in charge of overall security. There will be three Superintendents of Police (SPs) in charge of the security of the Banajaga team in coordination with six officers in the rank of DSP. The team would be accompanied by 30 junior officers,” Singh said.
He also said that police officers having experience in the last two Nabakalebara festivals, who can give necessary suggestions and advice relating to security measures during the Yatra, have been included in the security team.
“As per the decisions taken at the meeting, barricades would be erected from Baisi Pahacha inside the temple up to the Jagannath Ballav Math. Armed policemen would be deployed along the barricades after the Banajaga team starts its tour from the temple. After the team leaves Jagannath Ballav Math, it would be accompanied by a 40-member team of police up to the Deuli Math at Kakatpur,” the SP said.
There will be 24-hour security arrangement at the entrance gate of the Deuli Math. To ensure total security of the Math during the stay of the Banajaga team, a temporary police camp would be put in place there, he said.
Police will accompany the Banajaga team during its visit to the Maa Mangala temple. Prior to the entry of the team, police would thoroughly scan the temple premises and keep a watch on the temple and its periphery during the stay of the team inside the temple. Devotees would not be allowed inside the temple during the rituals performed by the temple servitors and the Banajaga team.
“Special security arrangements would be made after the team announces its departure from the Deuli Math in search of daru of the Trinity as per the swapnadesh (order of the Lord to the team head in his dream). Special protection would be provided to each team during its search for daru for Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra. The special protection team would also accompany the team during its return to the Shri Jagannath temple with the daru on wooden carts,” Singh informed.
He said the office-bearers of Daitapati Nijog had expressed satisfaction on the security measures at the meeting.
Sources said that the SP will have another round of meeting with the young Daitapatis about the security arrangements.