Dispute Among Servitor Groups Stalls Rituals At Lingaraj Temple

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Bhubaneswar: Rituals at Lingaraj temple here were disrupted on Tuesday morning following a dispute over the possession of a shrine land among two groups of servitors.

The secretary of Brahmana Nijog, Biranchi Narayan Pati, accused Badu Nijog of illegally constructing a building on a land belonging to Lord Lingaraj on the bank of Gangua river in Nuagan Mouza on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar.

“The temple administration had registered a case against Badu Nijog for illegal construction. We have urged the temple administration, local MLA and district collector to immediately intervene in the matter and make efforts to take the possession of the land immediately,” Pati told the media.

Refuting the allegations, the Badu Nijog secretary, Kamalakanta Badu, claimed, “The land does not belong to the temple. Badu Nijog took possession of the land after a mutation with the temple administration in 1914. The land status record also states that the land belongs to the Badu community.”

However, the executive officer of the Lingaraj Temple Trust, Pradip Kumar Sahu, said the land is recorded in the name of Lord Lingaraj. “You can get the details of the land from the Bhulekh website. The land will continue to remain under the possession of the Lord.”

Sahu further informed, “As per the temple rules and manual, the Lord is a minor. To safeguard his property, power and influence, the Odisha government has formed the temple administration and appointed the staffs, officials and the sevayats. The government has taken up the administration and management of the temple and as per the settlement, the land encroached on by Badu Nijog belongs to the Lord.”

Besides Brahmana Nijog, Pujapanda Nijog has also protested against the illegal construction of the building by Badu Nijog.

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