Will Take Up Sensitive Selfie Issue With Jagannath Temple Admin Chief: Puri SP

**Puri: ** As security has been breached most often taking into consideration the several selfies taken despite prohibition on Jagannath Temple premises and also making rounds in social media now, Puri SP Sarthak Sarangi on Tuesday said investigation into the matter is on and he himself will take up the sensitive issue with the chief administrator of the temple and find out ways and means to initiate legal action.

Talking to media, the Puri SP said, “The case has come to our notice through media. We’ve initiated enquiry into it to find out the whereabouts of the boy who has posted the selfies on social media. We’re trying to trace out if the boy is son of any ‘sebayat’ (temple servitor) or outsider. It’s because frisking is conducted at the four gates of the Sri Mandir and we don’t allow mobile phone into the temple premises.”

“A few days ago, we had seized the mobile phone set of one ‘sebayat’ and handed over to the temple administration office as he was caught video-recording the ritual of flag tagging atop temple,” he explained.

The SP further said, “As we’re unable to do anything legally at present, we have decided to discuss the matter with the temple administration and see if there is any legal provision in the Temple Act so that action can be taken accordingly. As the breach has been often and we’re unable to take any legal action, in coordination with the temple administration we will try to confiscate the erring mobile phone set.”

“We never check the sebayats at the gates as they have been allowed free passage into the temple through all the gates. If the sebayats are taking the selfies, it is the look out of the temple administration. As it’s a sensitive issue, I’ll talk to the chief of temple administration and take a decision soon,” Sarangi assured.

In his reactions, Sri Mandir sebayat Rajat Pratihari said, “The sebayats stay inside the temple since early morning till late night for solemnising several rituals of the deities. That’s why we need to keep with us the mobile phones for emergency.”

“Earlier a workshop had been held in presence of the then Puri SP Anup Sahu and present Central Range IG Soumendra Priyadarshi. It had been decided that the sebayats, senior police officials and temple administration top officials can carry mobile phones inside the temple. It will help in checking lacunae in communication.”

“But the way one Bengli madam has made her selfie viral on social media is unfortunate and condemnable. Action must be taken against it.”

Notably, selfies inside the high security zone Jagannath Temple premises by a woman tourist from neighbouring West Bengal here are viral on social media.

Besides posting her selfie on her Facebook account, the Bengali woman devotee has also uploaded a photo of the Holy Troika on the sacred citadel of Ratna Singhasan inside Gundicha Temple.

The photos were suspected to have been taken during the Rath Yatra this year during the sojourn of the deities at Gundicha Temple and uploaded on June 28.

Even two other selfies by a youth inside the temple premises have also come to fore.