JEYPORE: Bereft of security, thousands of ‘bol bom’ devotees at the Gupteswar shrine, considered ‘Amarnath of Odisha’, are virtually left in the hands of Lord Shiva.
Although the devotees in large numbers are thronging the shrine ever since the ‘Shravana’ month began, there has been no police vigil and monitoring of the traffic from Ramgiri forest to Gupteswar.
Gupteswar, which lies in Ramgiri forest, has been under constant threat from the Maoists. The attacks in Ramgiri and nearby Boipariguda forests in the past have spread panic in and outside the State, especially among the devotees thronging the cave temple. Only a handful of cops in plain clothes are found inside the temple on any given day.
On Monday, a stampede- like situation had occurred when 30,000 ‘bol bom’ devotees had gathered to pour water on the Shiva Linga here. Ironically, there was no special arrangement made by police for the devotees. The ‘bol bom’ devotees were found seeking information regarding safety throughout the journey at different places from the locals. On August 4, over 50,000 ‘bol bom’ devotees are expected to throng the shrine to pour water.