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Odisha: Puri Jagannath temple admin bows to protestors, says no queue for local devotees

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Puri: The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) seems to have bowed to the pressure of locals, who staged a fiery protest against the introduction of a queue system for ‘darshan’ of the deities, as the administration has relaxed the norms for them on their entry into Jagannath Temple.

A decision in this regard was taken after a meeting presided by Puri Collector Jyoti Prakash Das was held in presence of the five-member Peace Committee following the violent protest by the locals.

In the meeting, it was decided that the local devotees can enter into the temple through three gates by showing any valid identity cards to the police.

“Local devotees, especially those are living nearby the temple will be allowed through the north, west and south gates of Srimandir after producing identity cards,” Das informed.

Das also said that the police will take stringent action against those who found guilty on the basis of CCTV footage.

The entire incident is being reviewed by the police under the supervision of the Inspector General (Central Range) and a case in this regard will be filed with the police.

Tension prevailed at Jagannath temple as a 12-hour dawn-to-dusk shutdown to protest against the introduction of a queue system for ‘darshan’ turned violent.

An irate mob attempted to barge into the 12th-century shrine, removed the barricades erected near the temple and ransacked the office of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA).

The bandh call was given by socio-cultural organisation Jagannath Sena against the newly-introduced queue system in which the devotees have to enter the shrine by forming a queue at the Singhadwara, which is the main entrance to the temple. After having a ‘darshan’ of the deities, they have to exit through three other gates.