Puri Violence: Police Registers Cases Against 18 Persons Including Servitors And Jagannath Sena Activists

**Puri:** The District Police today registered cases against the 18 persons including some servitors in connection with the violence which unleashed on the Grand Road (Bada Danda) on October 3 (Wednesday) against queue system (Dhadi Darshan) at the Jagannath Temple.

Cases have been filed at Singhadwara Police Station against 18 persons including Jagannath Sena convener Priyadarshan Patnaik, senior servitor Binayak Das Mohapatra under several sections of the IPC, informed Puri SP Dr Sarthak Sarangi.

Among others, BJP workers Somnath Khuntia and Bhawani Das Mohapatra, servitors Damodar Mahasuar and Gopal Panda and lawyer Prasanna Dash have been booked on the basis of CCTV footage available with the police.

Total 26 persons were arrested so far on charges of rioting and ransacking public and government property. Around 45 protesters have been identified for the violence on the basis of CCTV footage, Sarangi added.

On the other hand, Binayak Das Mohapatra has condemned the police action stating that he and other co-servitors have been wrongly framed in the case.

“Five of us had been called by the administration to be the part of a peace committee. How and under what circumstances have they booked us in this case? Our only intention was to assist the police. Can they show a single footage which corroborates our involvement in the violence?” Das Mohapatra said.

The Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) also submitted a report on the incident to the Supreme Court-appointed Amicus Curiae Gopal Subramanium who had earlier expressed his displeasure over the violence.

An usually calm and devotionally-bound ‘Bada Danda’ of Puri witnessed an unusual ruckus and rampage on October 3, triggered by the introduction of the queue system for ‘darshan’ by the administration.

The mob vandalised the barricades on Grand Road, temple administration office and Revenue Minister Maheswar Mohanty’s residence on the fateful day.