Preventive Steps Being Taken After Slip Of Balabhadra Idol During ‘Adapa Bije Pahandi’: Puri Gajapati

Puri/Bhubaneswar: Voicing concern over the slip of Lord Balabhadra’s idol during ‘Adapa Mandap Bije Pahandi’, Gajapati Maharaj Dibyasingha Deb on Wednesday said that all devotees are hurt and sad following the incident.

While devotees of Lord Jagannath across the world are hurt and feeling sad over the incident, servitors have also learnt a lot from the mishap, Gajapati Maharaj told media after a meeting of Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee.

He said that the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) will certainly examine the matter and ascertain the reason for such a rare mishap that took place on Tuesday.

The temple administration as well as servitors will take all necessary steps to prevent any such incident in future, the Puri King said, adding that utmost care will be taken during conduct of all rituals of the Lords in future.

Stating that the matter was discussed in the managing committee meeting, Gajapati Maharaj said more number of servitors remain present on the chariots and appropriate steps will be taken to streamline the system.

Necessary steps will be taken to ensure that all rituals, starting from Bahuda Yatra on July 15 to Neeladri Bije on July 19, are conducted in a smooth and disciplined manner without any untoward incident, the Puri King added.

Speaking on the mishap, Chief Administrator of SJTA Vir Vikram Yadav told reporters that a three-member committee, comprising ADM, Administrator (Development), and an officer of DSP rank, will investigate the incident.

They will examine the footage of the incident to see if the designated persons were present at the spot and identify those responsible for it. They have been asked to submit the report within 10 days of Niladri Bije, he added.

Earlier, senior servitor Jagannath Swain Mohapatra had blamed the sevayats for the ‘sad’ incident. He said that ropes to control Lord Balabhadra’s movement was not tied properly, causing the deity to fall on the slanting ladder. “The number of sevayat were more than was actually required for the pahandi ritual,” he claimed.

Mohapatra said he has asked the Puri Collector to issue ID cards to sevayats required for the ritual.

Meanwhile, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Wednesday reacted sharply to the incident that took place during Adapa Mandap Bije Pahandi outside Gundicha Temple in Puri.

Senior BJD leader and Bhubaneswar Mayor Sulochana Das said it was a shameful and unforgivable mistake. This incident has hurt 4.5 crore Odia people and devotees of Lord Jagannath throughout the world.

She termed the statements of Deputy Chief Minister Pravati Parida and Law Minister Prithviraj Harichandan on the incident as ‘irresponsible.’ It is not proper to describe the incident as Lord’s divine act, she said.

“This is a very sensitive issue. Yesterday’s incident has hurt the sentiments of billions of people. It has shocked, embarrassed and troubled the minds of the devotees,” the BJD leader said.

“Therefore, we request the government to ensure that all rituals are conducted in a disciplined and systematic manner till Niladri Bije,” Das added.

Notably, the incident took place at around 9 pm on Tuesday when some servitors slipped on the makeshift ladder that had been built to carry the deity from the chariot to Shree Gudicha Temple, and got trapped under the 7-ft-high idol of Lord Balabhadra, weighing over 150kg. They were later rescued by other servitors and police personnel and rushed to district headquarters hospital.

It is being said that the ropes to control Lord Balabhadra’s movement had loosened, causing the deity to fall on the slanting ladder.

Pahandi of Lord Jagannath and Devi Subhadra, however, went smoothly, and the deities were escorted to the Adapa Mandap of the shrine.

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