At least three persons were booked on Friday for illegally entering the Shree Gundicha temple in Puri, where Lord Jagannath and his divine siblings are on a nine-day sojourn, police said.
While two local residents were caught after they entered the temple by impersonating as servitors, another was found with a fake identity card of a priest engaged in Rath Yatra duty, they said.
Smruti Ranjan Mohanty (22) of Markandeswarsahi and Abhijit Mohapatra (22) of the Kumbharapada area of the pilgrim town allegedly went inside the temple in the servitors' attire, the police said, adding that both were taken to the Kumbharapada police station.
They were booked under the relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Disaster Management Act and Epidemic Act, a police official said.
They were inside the Gundicha temple when a special ritual was underway. When some servitors questioned them about their identity, the two failed to give satisfactory answers and were handed over to the Jagannath temple police personnel, the official said.
They have been detained at the Kumbharapada police station for further questioning, he added.
Another man was caught trying to enter the temple by showing a fake identity card and posing as an assistant of a servitor engaged in Rath Yatra duty.
After the historic Rath Yatra was held successfully in this pilgrim town on June 23, Odisha Director General of Police (DGP) Abhay and the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) have urged people to refrain from visiting Puri as no one is allowed to have a "darshan" of the trinity -- Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra.
The world famous annual Rath Yatra was held without public attendance this year and the chariots were pulled by the temple servitors, in accordance with a Supreme Court order in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On July 1, the deities will be brought back to their respective chariots, which will be pulled back to the main temple, which is known as the Bahuda Yatra (return car festival).