Puri: A servitor of Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri has been placed under suspension for escorting Puri MLA Jayanta Kumar Sarangi to the Snana Mandap for darshan of deities during Snana Purnima rituals on June 17.
As per the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), entry of devotees onto the Snana Mandap is strictly prohibited during Snana Purnima, except during ‘Sahanamela’.
However, through verification of CCTV footage it was found that Somanath had escorted the MLA for darshan of the holy trinity at about 11 AM, much before Sahanamela, violating the specific instructions of SJTA.
The suspension order mentions that such conduct of Somanath being serious in nature disciplinary action has been contemplated against him under Section 21 of Shree Jagannath Temple Act 1955.
“Hence, in exercise of the power conferred U/s 21-B(a) of the said Act Sri Somanath Khuntia is hereby placed under suspension with immediate effect until further orders and Sri Khuntia is debarred from performing any Seva in the Temple during the period of suspension,” the order read.
Though it has also been alleged that Sarangi touched the deities, the legislator refuted the rumours stating, “I go for darshan of the Holy Trinity round the year and during Snana Purnima also I paid my obeisance to the deities but did not touch them.”
Sarangi further said that the concerned officers of temple administration and sevayats present at the spot should have stopped him and informed about the restrictions barring anyone to go near the deities.