Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Aug 19:
Two more servitors of Jagannath temple in Odisha’s Holy town of Puri, who have gone into hiding fearing arrest, have withdrawn their anticipatory bail pleas filed in the High Court here.
This comes a day after another fugitive servitor Bhimsen Palankdhari withdrew his bail application.
Ipsita Pratihari and Bhagirathi Khuntia today moved their applications through their lawyers Subhas Chandra Puspal and Tara Prasad Mohapatra respectively.
The bench of Justice Shatrughana Pujahari adjudicated over three pleas filed by Khuntia and two by Pratihari.
The duo sought to withdraw their pleas sensing bleak chances of getting bail approval, which was approved by the court.
Notably, three separate cases were filed by the Puri police against the servitors for misbehaving with District Collector Arvind Agarwal, assaulting journalists and misbehaving with a woman police officer during the Niladri Bije ritual of Lord Jagannath on July 17.
As many as 16 people were booked in connection with these cases. While 12 of the accused have been arrested, Ipsita Pratihari, Bhagirathi Khuntia, Bhimsen Palankadhari and Damodar Mahasuar have remained untraceable.
Later, Puri SDJM Court on July 25 had issued non-bailable warrants (NBWs) against six servitors – Bhimsen Palankadhari, Damodar Mahasuar, Jayakrushna Mahasuar, Ipsita Pratihari, Rabi Dash and Saina Khuntia. Two days later, eight servitors– Damodar Mahasuara, Jayakrushna Mahasuara, Saina Khuntia, Bhimsen Palankadhari, Ipsit Pratihari, Rabi Dash, Kashinath Khuntia and Bhagirathi Khuntia– who are accused of heckling the Puri District Collector Arvind Agarwal during the Niladri Bije rituals were declared as absconders by police.