Puri Jagannath Temple’s Security Under Scanner After Photos Go Viral

Puri: With photographs clicked inside the Jagannath Temple in Puri going viral time and again, questions are now being raised over security arrangements at the 12th century shrine.

After one Hitesh Sunani of Gujarat allegedly posted some pictures of the temple interiors recently, Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Chief Administrator Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra directed for strengthening the security arrangements. A high-level meeting to discuss the issue will also be convened on November 13.

It is being alleged that Hitesh had posted pictures of Bhitar Bedha and Koili Baikuntha on his Facebook account, which were later deleted.

“People should be aware of the restriction on carrying mobile phones into the temple. I have discussed the recent incidents of Puri Jagannath temple’s interior photographs going viral with Police IG and Puri SP. We will strengthen the security arrangements. Police IG, the Collector and the SP will attend the meeting on November 13,” said Mohapatra.

The devotees have blamed the servitors and police personnel for such incidents, accusing them of carrying mobile phones inside the temple.

On February 26, 2017, the temple administration had issued a notice restricting use of mobile phones inside the shrine. The servitors were allowed to carry mobile phones without camera. Later, mobile phones without camera and a temple logo were arranged for them. Not only servitors, other employees had also received these mobile phones.

After initial few days, the rules were allegedly flouted by all.

On November 4, photographs taken at Jagannath Temple’s Sata Pahacha were posted on social media by one Megha Luthra, a Delhi University girl student from Bengaluru and currently working as a cabin crew member of IndiGo Airlines.

In October first week, Sub-inspector of Sea Beach police station Dilip Panda posted some selfies taken at the Baishi Pahacha, Anand Bazaar and near Patita Pabana on his Facebook account. He had gone to the temple to perform ‘shradha’ of his forefathers on the occasion of Mahalaya.

Puri SP Sarthak Sarangi placed him under suspension for breaking the rule, which bars devotees from carrying mobile phone and camera inside the temple.

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