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Sri Jagannath Temple servitors expressed strong opposition to reopen the temple before December

Puri: 9/10/20: The pilgrim town of Odisha, Puri has witnessed a downward trend in the COVID positive numbers. Now, while the State Government has started the official process for reopening religious places across Odisha, the servitors (Sevayats) of the 11th-century Shrine are opposed to the decision.

So far, around 500 servitors and 60 employees of Jagannath Temple, have tested positive for COVID-19. Many of them have lost their lives to the deadly disease. The Sevayats are of the opinion that the efforts undertaken by the district administration to contain the infection further will go in vein if the Srimandir is reopened for the devotees.

During a discussion with Sri Jagannath Temple Administration authorities today, the servitors expressed strong opposition to reopen the temple before December, said sources.

“As many as 18 servitors have died due to COVID-19. If the Jagannath Temple is opened devotees who have been deprived of ‘Darshan’ for over seven months will flock Puri. In such a scenario, there are chances of the infection spread and affect more Sevayats. The temple rituals might be affected,” a senior Servitor said.

Besides, this year during the holy month of Kartika (November), the much-awaited Nagarjuna Besha will be held. This ‘Besha’ of Lord Jagannath will be held after a gap of 26 years, so it is certain that devotees from across the country will make beeline for Puri to catch a glimpse of the Lord, he added.

Puri Jagannath Temple Niti Prasashak (Rituals Administrator), Jitendra Sahu informed that SJTA Chief Administrator Dr. Krishan Kumar presided over the meeting which was held through video conferencing. Four Nijogs, Pratihari Nijog, Pujapanda Nijog, Suar-Mahasuar Nijog and Khuntia Nijog participated in the meeting today.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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