Bhubaneswar, Amid controversy over the missing keys of inner treasury(Ratna Bhandar) of Sri Jagannath temple and a judicial probe by a retired high court job into the incident,the Odisha government has shifted the Chief Administrator of the temple.
The order of shifting Sri Jagannath temple Chief Administrator Pradeep Jena, a senior IAS officer, was issued while he was holding a meeting of the Chhatisa Nijog, an apex body of the servitors of the Jagannath temple, in the wake of Apex court directive preventing the servitors to accept the “dakshina” from the devotees..
In a late night order the state government appointed School and Mass education secretary Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra to hold the additional charge of the Chief Administrator of the Jagannath Temple replacing Mr Pradeep Jena who is holding the secretary post of the Water Resource Department
The Opposition Congress and the BJP has mounted a scathing attack on the government, particularly on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for maintaining a stoic silence over the missing keys of Ratna Bhandra of the Jagannth temple and demanded a fair probe into the incident.
The Opposition dubbed the judicial inquiry ordered by the Chief Minister as a eye wash as several such commissions announced by the government in the past on various incidents in the Jagannath temple have yet to be made public by the government.
Even Puri Sankaracharaya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati and Puri King Dibya Singh Dev have expressed their strong discontentment on the missing keys of the Ratna Bhandar and criticized the functioning of the Sri Jagannath temple.
The Opposition BJP has been organizing a demonstration across the state and filing FIRs in the police stations on the missing Keys while Jagannath sena activists have demanded a CBI probe into the incident.
Meanwhile, Puri District judge Ambuja Mohan Das who has been asked by the Supreme court to submit a report on the difficulties faced by the devotees inside the 12th century shrine and the deficiency in the temple management, started his probe.
The District judge met the Jagannath temple officials, Puri Collector and Superintendent of Police, besides senior servitors on Monday and discussed with them the issues raised by the Supreme Court.The District judge will submit his report to the Apex court by June 30 next.
Jagannath temple sources said since the Supreme court’s order banning donation to the temple servitors by the devotees was implemented, the collection of offering cash to the temple “Hundi”(Donation Box) has gone up substantially in comparison to earlier daily collection.
While the devotees have welcomed the Supreme court’s directives, the temple servitors body is contemplating to move a revision petition in Apex court seeking revocation of the judgment on the ground that many servitors will suffer heavy loss if the order is implemented .