Chariot climbing case: SJTA files FIR against three

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Aug 18:

The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) today filed an FIR against two servitors of the Jagannath temple and a devotee at the Kumbharpada police station in Odisha’s holy town Puri in connection with the climbing atop of Nandighosha, chariot of Lord Jagannath by a woman devotee when it was parked in front of the Adapa mandap or Gundicha temple during Rath Yatra this year.

Bahuda Yatra in PuriThe SJTA today filed an FIR at the Kumbharpada police station here against Jagannath Swain Mohapatra mukhya badagrahi (chief body protector) of Lord Jagannath, suspended servitor Artatrana Pratihari and Padmini Patra, the woman devotee who had climbed atop the chariot.

The FIR has been filed under clause 4(B) of section 30(A) of the Shree Jagannath Temple Act 1952 and sections 188 and 34 of the IPC, police sources said.

“Today we have received a report from the office of the SJTA on the dispute over the climbing atop of chariot by a devotee on July 20 this year. FIR has been registered against three persons. They are servitor Kaliyuga Artatrana Pratihari, Jagannath Swain Mohapatra and Padmini Patra,” said Khireswar Sahu, IIC Kumbharpada police station.

While the SJTA had suspended servitor Artatrana Pratihari, it had served notice to Jagannath Swain Mohapara after CCTV footage showed a woman devotee atop the Nandighosha before the pahandi of the Lord when it was parked in front of the Adapa Mandap on completion of its first leg of the Rath Yatra. Earlier, Puri SP Asish Singh had said that legal action will be taken after obtaining complete report on the matter.

On the other hand, Jagannath Swain Mohapatra has said the incident needs to be thoroughly probed. While condemning the filing of FIR by the SJTA against him he said he would file a defamation case.

“I am condemning it. See I am mahaprabhu’s badagrahi. I was standing beside the Lord. It is for the public to understand how the devotee climbed the chariot from the ground, who allowed her to climb atop the chariot. I was near the mahaprabhu. How am I responsible for someone climbing atop the chariot? How those on the ground who allowed her to climb the chariot are not responsible for the lapse? How I am responsible? I fail to understand the logic. I will file a defamation case on this,” said Jagannath Swain Mohapatra in his reaction on him being named in the FIR.

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