Missing keys, devotees’ harassment haunt Govt
With issues like missing of the Ratna Bhandar keys and devotees’ harassment in the Shree Jagannath Temple are matters of discussion now, the State Government has changed the guard of the temple by replacing incumbent Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Chief Administrator Pradeep Kumar Jena with another IAS officer, Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra.
When a woman devotee was misbehaved in the temple premises recently, a male devotee from some other State was manhandled by a section of sevayats. Such incidents have been reported many times since the Nabakalebar Festival in 2015.
Servitors started creating problems at the time of Brahma Parivartan of the Trinity.
The next Nabakalebara would be held in 2035.
When the people are yet to forget the mismanagement in the Nabakalebara rituals, servitors and administration officials entered into a dispute over the devotees’ rights to climb the chariots and touch the Lords.
At that time the Government also changed the Chief Administrator of the SJTA. This seems the easiest job for the State Administration to cover up the problem.
With the Supreme Court giving directives to stop harassment in the 12th Century Shrine on the petition of a woman devotee, the Government seems to have taken it seriously and thus wanted to change the SJTA chief.
Mohapatra, who is Principal Secretary of the School and Mass Education Department, was given additional charge as SJTA chief. He had earlier also discharged the duty as SJTA Chief Administrator.
The Supreme Court passed a slew of directions to stop malpractices and mismanagement in the temple ahead of Rath Jatra in July.
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