PURI: The Jagannath temple here is back in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Two servitors of Jagannath temple assaulted a devotee and snatched away his gold chain on Sunday after he refused to pay ‘Dakshina’ (donation).
The devotee, identified as Chetan Ganpat Amolkar of Thane in Maharashtra, sustained injuries on his neck and right hand. Later, he lodged a complaint with Singhadwar police alleging that the servitors manhandled him inside the temple premises.According to the complaint, Chetan, along with his wife, had gone to the temple to offer prayers to the Trinity at about 6 am on Sunday.
While the couple was at Jagamohan, one servitor presented a ‘thaal’ and asked them to drop money. Chetan’s wife donated some money, but the servitor demanded Rs 1,001 or Rs 501 as donation.When the couple refused to pay, the servitor, who was joined by another, scolded the woman in filthy language and then pushed her. When Chetan intervened, the servitor duo thrashed him and snatched away his gold chain before fleeing.
“Though servitors are getting salary for their service, they also demand a huge amount from the devotees in the name of ‘darshan’ of the deities,” Chetan said. “It’s a devotee’s call how much he wants to pay, but they force us (to pay more). When we refuse to pay the money they demand, we face such situations,” he added.
Singhadwar police registered a case against the servitors and are investigating into the incident. The CCTV footage is being examined to identify the servitors, police said.Meanwhile, Puri SP Sarthak Sarangi has directed the Singhadwar police to nab the culprits immediately.