Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has been urged to protect the Mangu Mutt and the Panjabi Mutt at Puri rather than letting them to be demolished.
In a memorandum to the CM, lawyer Sukhvinder Kaur and researcher Anil Dhir on behalf of the Sikh community have highlighted the age-old connection of the two mutts with the Jagannath Temple.
They said that the connection between Sikhism and the Jagannath temple goes back to more than 500 years ago when Guru Nanak Dev Ji visited the holy temple to spread the message of Ek Onkar, meaning "one supreme reality".
It was at the Jagannath Temple that the Holy Sikh Arti, which is enshrined in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, was composed. Since then, the association of Sikhs with the Jagannath Temple was formed and continues till today, they said.
Referring to the heritage Mangu Mutt, they said the monastery also played an important role during the freedom struggle.
Many freedom fighters, both from Odisha and upcountry were sheltered here. Late Gobind Tripathy, freedom fighter from Puri, had recollected his stay in the mutt as an inmate and the immense support he and fellow freedom fighters received here in the thirties.
"Historically, Sikhs have always been seen as the protectors of Hindus. Even during victorious conquests, the Sikhs have never defiled, not destroyed any place of worship of the enemies. Many of the Sikh Gurus and their families gave up their lives for the protection of the Hindu faith and temples. It is ironic that our holy place will be destroyed in the name of development," they told.
The administration can remove all the commercial establishments and illegal structures, but the Gadi, the Sanctum Sanctorum, should be left intact.
The relics should be properly preserved. It will hurt the sentiments of the Sikh community worldwide if the mutts are razed to the ground, they added.