State

HC asks Govt to ensure Safety for Devotees during Nabakalebar

Cuttack, Nov 22: Orissa High Court has asked the state government to make proper and foolproof arrangements for every devotee to pay obeisance to the deities at Jagannath Temple in Puri during Nabakalebar festival next year.

The HC order came yesterday while adjudicating over a PIL concerning the safety and security of the devotees during the mega festival next year.

A division bench comprising justices A K Rath and B R Sarangi also asked the government to take stringent action against those who would create disturbances and deprive the devotees from having darshan of the deities.

Advocate and social activist Chitta Ranjan Mohanty had filed the PIL stating that due to "mismanagement" and "maladministration" of the temple administration, priests and servitors often misbehave with the devotees and particularly, the women devotees face "unbearable" humiliation.

Annexing as many as 12 FIRs filed against the servitors, Mohanty in his petition had alleged that reports of highhandedness by the servitors are often reported in newspapers and they bring a lot of criticisms and disrepute to the people of the state.

Taking note of the contentions of the petitioner, the High Court also asked the state government to submit the action taken report (ATR) on the basis of recommendations made by Justice P K Mohanty Commission on safety and security of the devotees, which have been accepted by the state government.

-PTI

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