**Puri: ** The bronze statue of Godabarish Mishra installed at Satyabadi in Puri was stolen by miscreants on Wednesday night.
Amarendra Patnaik, Director of Culture and Tourism has asked the Puri culture officer to give reports on the incident today itself.
Notably, this statue was installed by the Central Tourism Department who handed it over to the district administration in 2009.
“This is a highly condemnable act. To steal the statue of a legendary character like Godabarish Mishra is unforgivable. It is sad that there are no proper security arrangements here thaough this is a place of historical importance. So, miscreants find it easy to commit such crimes here,” said Krushna Jagdev, head priest.
“This act of the miscreants is cowardly. An FIR has been lodged in the Satyabadi PS and the police have started its investigation. The robbers should feel ashamed of their act and should come forward to hand it over to the authorities. The locals should come forward to help the police in its investigation,” said tourist officer, Bijay Jena.
Chakradhar Mohapatra, a local resident wanted the authorities to take stringent steps to recover the stolen statue. It is highly disrespectful that the makers of modern Odisha are shown this kind of disrespect.”
He was one of the ‘Panchsakhas’, a team of 5 selfless young men namely Pandit Gopabandhu Das, Acharya Harihar Das, Nilakantha Das, Krupasindhu Mishra, Godavarish Mishra who distinguished themselves in later life as scholars and national leaders popularly known as ‘Pancha-Sakha’.
The ‘Pancha-Sakha’ or five comrades contributed their best for the cause of national aspirations. They were equally dedicated to the blend of educational as well as political uplift of Odisha.