Residents of the pilgrim city are up in arms against the recent circular of Revenue Department to settle all lands having link with Jagannath temple in favour of temple managing committee.
Hundreds of activists of Bhu Surakshya Parishad led by its convenor Surendranath Dash and members of the District Bar Association gheraoed Puri Tehsildar office for several hours on Friday.
Flaying the circular, they also submitted a memorandum to the Governor through Sub-Collector Udhav Chandra Majhi.
They sought the Governor’s intervention in the matter. The locals are living here from a long time after buying the land from Mutts with due permission of Commissioner of endowments, Dash said.
The members flayed the Government circular stating that the decision amounts to contempt of court. They also said a Supreme Court bench comprising five members had clearly interpreted the status of the endowment of the Lord Jagannath and the Mutts.
This apart, several cases in this regard are pending before the Supreme Court for adjudication. But, the circular has just opposed it, they said.
The residents would oppose any such attempt of forcible possession by the temple administration, they said. Many senior lawyers also criticised temple administration’s illegal attempt to grab the land from residents on pretext of recovering temple land.
Following continuous agitation by the residents, Chief Minister had formed a committee to look into the issue.
The committee consisted of Chief Secretary, Advocate General, Law Secretary, local MLA Maheswar Mohanty, MP Pinaki Mishra and other officials. The Revenue circular is illegal because the committee is still working on the issue, Dash said.