: A complaint has been lodged at the Lingaraj police station in the capital city against the alleged desecration of Hindu deities by one Jitu Mishra.
In the complaint lodged by Prafulla Swain, it is alleged that the Mishra, who runs a firm called Sarna Educational and Cultural Services and conducts Heritage Walks for Odisha Tourism, entered the Vaital Temple and desecrated the idol of Ardhanariswara.
The temple is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Mishra has posted clippings both on Instagram and Facebook in which he is seen removing the vestment of the idol and then crumpling it up and discarding it. The video has gone viral on the internet and raised the hackles of many Hindu organisations.
Swain has alleged that the Mishra is a regular offender and was earlier warned by the priests. However, as he has been appointed by the Odisha Tourism, he regularly takes visitors to the sanctum sanctorum of the living temples like Parsurameswar, Mukteswar, Kedar Gouri, Vaital, and other shrines. The entry of non-Hindus is restricted in these shrines, but he blatantly violates the norm.
Jagannanth Sena convenor advocate Piku Patnaik has condemned the act and said that if action is not taken against the perpetrator, protests would be held both at the ASI office and the police station. He has demanded that the person be debarred from entering any temple and that he should be removed from the Odisha Tourism Heritage Walks,
Hindu Janjagruti Samiti national spokesperson Ramesh Shinde visited the temple on March 5 to conduct an inquiry and would submit his report to the Chief Minister and the ASI.
Other Hindu organisations like the Kalinga Sena, VHP, and Bharat Raksha Manch too have raised objections. Doing such a sacrilegious act and then posting the video on social media has hurt the sentiments of devout Hindus, they said.