Odisha: Priests of Sarala temple warn of rituals boycott
During its meeting on September 24, the Parishad had alleged that the guidelines continue to remain only in pen and paper due to negligence on part of the temple administration.
JAGATSINGHPUR: The sevayats and priests of Sarala temple have decided to boycott the rituals of Dussehra festival if the new rules and guidelines are not implemented by the administration. The priests under the banner of Maa Sarada Sevayats Parishad boycotted the core committee meeting organised by the temple administration on Thursday over the demand.
Sources said in July this year, the core committee comprising various government officials, police and sevayats had come up with 18 guidelines to be followed inside the temple premises for safety of devotees. These guidelines include restriction on use of mobile phones inside the temple, filing complaints against priests misbehaving with devotees and ban on spitting inside the shrine premises.
During its meeting on September 24, the Parishad had alleged that the guidelines continue to remain only in pen and paper due to negligence on part of the temple administration. Temple chief priest Ranjan Panda said the Parishad has decided to boycott the 16-day rituals of goddess Sarala during Dussehra as the temple administration is yet to implement the new rules and guidelines.
“We have given a proposal to resolve the issues during the next Durga Puja preparatory meeting on October 6 in presence of the Endowments commissioner, district collector, sub-collector and other officials. If out demand is not met, we will not cooperate with the administration during the rituals,” he added.
Executive officer of Sarala temple administration Sauraya Ranjan Parija said the administration is yet to receive any complaint from the Parishad. “Steps are being taken to ensure peaceful conduct of Dussehra rituals with the help of all the sevayats,” he added.
Notably in May this year, a devotee was killed and seven others sustained injuries in a firecracker blast at Maa Sarala temple during Chandan Yatra festival. Sources said pickpocketing and snatching incidents are a regular affair on the temple premises.