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Jagannath Temple servitors calls for boycott of CM’s Rath Yatra meeting

Puri: Shree Jagannath Sevayat Sammilani, a body of servitors of Jagannath Temple here, called for boycott of Rath Yatra coordination meeting to be chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik citing several irregularities and lackadaisical attitude of the temple and State administrations towards them.

In a poster, the Sammilani decried the Puri Collector’s autocratic behaviour. The priests also decried the alleged attempt of the temple administration to defame them saying they pushed and nudged the First Lady of India during the visit of President Ram Nath Kovind to Puri temple in March.

Last week, an association of servitors at the Jagannath Temple in Puri also lodged a complaint against district Collector Aravind Agarwal and the shrine’s former Chief Administrator Pradeep Kumar Jena for “falsely” accusing priests of misbehaving with President Ram Nath Kovind and his wife during their visit on March 18.

The Suar Mahasuar Nijog, an association of servitors, lodged the complaint after the Rashtrapati Bhavan denied having complained about the priests’ behaviour as claimed by the temple administration.

Last week, a controversy erupted after the minutes of a meeting of the Temple Managing Committee, held on March 20, quoted Agarwal and Jena as saying that some servitors had blocked the path of the President in the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine and pushed and nudged the First Lady of India.

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