Puri: Jagannath temple sevayat Ipsit Pratihari on Thursday reiterated his demand for a thorough probe into the missing stones from the Ratna Simhasan in the sanctum sanctorum (garbha griba).
Having submitted a written statement to the deputy administrator (Revenue) of Shree Jagananth Temple Administration (SJTA) on Thursday morning, the sevayat told mediapersons that during his duty at the Ratna Simhasan on July 6, he noticed that a two-inch lotus-carved stone was missing from the Ratna Simhasan with cursory repair being done in the broken portion. He also noticed a hole under the broken stone.
“After witnessing the incident, I discussed it with my sevayat friends. The next day, I sent a letter to the Chief Minister and briefed the print and electronic media in the afternoon. After coming to know about the incident, the district collector called to me to his residence on July 10 for a meeting in the presence of Niti Prasasak of the temple,” Pratihari informed.
Asked about his next course of action, he said that the SJTA — which entrusts repair and maintenance work of the temple to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) during Rath Yatra every year — should name the temple administration official who had had handed over charge to the ASI and the ASI official who had submitted the report after the completion of repair and maintenance work.
Asked about a statement made by the SJTA chief administrator to the media that there had been no damage to any structure in the sanctum sanctorum, Pratihari said Lord Jagannath knows the truth.
“All I can say is that a conspiracy is on to hush up the matter. We want a thorough probe into the incident and initiate appropriate action against the guilty,” he remarked.