Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, June 21:
The month-long row over devotees climbing chariots and touching the deities during the Rath Yatra in Puri finally ended on Friday night as the Daitapati Nijog unanimously agreed to respect the verdict of the Odisha High Court, which asked the state government to abide by the decisions of the temple management committee and its advisor on religious matters, the Jagadguru Shankaracharya.
“We had been facilitating the darshan of the Lords atop the chariots for the devotees for generations as per traditions. We were not aware of the existing rules and laws. Now that the Odisha High Court has directed us to abide by the order of the Sankaracharya, we would respect the verdict of the court in letter and spirit”, secretary of Daitapati Nijog Premananda Dasmohapatra told reporters here.
“We respect the suggestions and advice of the Sankarcharya and the Gajapati Maharaja and promise to do our best to ensure smooth conduct of the Nabakalebara festival next year”, he added.
Dasmohapatra, however, hoped that the Gajapati Maharaja and the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) would give special focus on the loss incurred by the Daitapati community under the existing practice by making specific arrangements for adequate compensation to them.