Jagatsinghpur, August 2 (localWire): Rivalry among two groups of servitors has brought to a halt the worship of the deity at the 16th century Sarala Temple in Kanakpur for the last two days.
The opposition among the servitors is continuing since a year and came to a head two days ago during Chitalagi Amabyasa.
Alleging opposition, head priest Ranjan Panda said Pragyandipta Panda and his followers stopped him and his followers from performing rituals at the Sarala temple.
When complaints to the temple administration and the district administration yielded no result, Ranjan Panda filed a writ petition with the endowment commission against other group of servitors some time back.
Adjudicating the case, the endowment commission ordered in May that following the tradition, custom and rituals of the deity, petitioners Ranjan Panda along with opposition Pragyandipta Panda have been jointly declared head priests (Badapandas) of the deity having equal rights to perform all special rituals because both the groups belong to Sadashiba Badapanda’s family.
The commission declared that special rituals of Badapanda will be performed alternately by both the branches. Yesterday was Chitalagi Amabyasa and petitioner Ranjan Panda was to perform the special ritual on the basis of rotation but Pragyandipta stopped him affecting the rituals at Sarala temple.
Meanwhile, sub-Collector Mahendra Prasad Mohanty rushed to the temple with Tirtol police and decided to resolve the issue in the presence of the Collector.
On the other hand, the temple trust board said temple rituals are also being affected due to funds crunch as bidders have not paid them the money that they were supposed to pay after bidding for the tender of bhog shop, diya shop and parking lot.