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Jagannath Temple Authorities to Meet After Rath Yatra to Decide on Permitting non-Hindu Visitors

Reactions from Jagannath Temple Administration came after the apex court on Thursday asked them if they would allow non-Hindu visitors in the temple.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:July 6, 2018, 12:56 PM IST
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Jagannath Temple Authorities to Meet After Rath Yatra to Decide on Permitting non-Hindu Visitors
File photo of Jagannath Temple.
Kolkata: The decision to permit non-Hindus inside the premises of Jagannath Temple in Puri will be discussed soon after consulting all the stakeholders, Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee (SJTMC) said on Friday.

Speaking to News18 over telephone, Chairman of SJTMC, Gajapati Maharaj Dibyasingha Deb, said, “The suggestion on whether non-Hindus should be allowed to enter the Jagannath Temple will be discussed in the managing committee.”

The chief administrator of Shri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) PK Mohapatra also said that a decision will be taken after meeting senior management members. “We are busy with the upcoming Rath Yatra festival. After the festival is over we will hold a meeting and take a call on the issue,” Mohapatra said. He said the decision will be a collective one.

“The district judge gave us some suggestions which could be implemented but final decision will be taken after the meeting,” he added, referring to the Supreme Court’s directive of June 8 asking the district judge of Puri to give a report on difficulties faced by visitors.

However, ‘Daitapati Nijog’ - which plays an important role in performing all the rituals from ‘Deva Snana Purnima’ (auspicious bathing festival for Lord Jagannath devotees) to end of nine days Rath Yatra – opposed the suggestion and threatened to go for a mass movement if non-Hindus were allowed to enter the Jagannath Temple.

General Secretary of ‘Daitapati Nijog’ Binayak Dasmohapatra said that the people are attached to it emotionally.

“There is no question of agreeing to Supreme Court’s suggestion to allow non-Hindus inside the temple. Our sentiments are attached with this temple. Hundreds of years ago British and Muslims tried to capture this temple. We can’t allow any non-Hindus to enter the premises.”

Dasmohapatra also expressed his confidence in the SJTA saying that they too will not allow non-Hindus inside the temple.

Reactions from Jagannath Temple Administration came after the apex court on Thursday asked them if they would allow non-Hindu visitors in the temple. The bench of Justices AK Goel and S Abdul Nazeer also clarified that it was a suggestion and court was not imposing this.

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| Edited by: Sana Fazili
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