The rituals at Lingaraj temple were disrupted on Saturday morning due to a dispute among the temple servitors over their right on ‘dala bhog’.
‘Dala bhog’ is the dry prasad that the devotees offer for puja. The Pujapandas claim that it was their right to conduct the rituals over the ‘dala bhog’. Problem arose when the Suar Nijogs also claimed that they had a right over the ‘dala bhog’ and wanted to conduct the rituals. “The Maha Suar has been given the responsibility to cook for the temple and we have been given the responsibility to perform the rituals. They do not even have the right to chant the mantras,” said Pujapanda secretary Sachikant Pujapanda.
During a previous altercation, the Pujapandas had threatened to stop the rituals on Saturday if the problems were not resolved by the temple authorities. Since there was no action, the Pujapandas stopped the rituals after mangal aarati in the morning. The rituals in the temple were resumed at 6 in the evening.
The temple authorities called for a meeting where temple executive officer Abanikant Patnaik also participated. “We are dissatisfied with the proceedings of the meeting as no solution came of it. We have been asked to get the High Court (HC) order vacated regarding the ‘dala bhog’ and only then can the temple authorities take any action,” said Sachikant. He also added that now they would try to get the HC order vacated as soon as they can.