Bhubaneswar, September 4 (LocalWire): Daily puja rituals at the thirteenth century Lingaraja temple, the famous Shaivite shrine in the city protected by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), has come to a grinding halt for almost 48 hours.
According to reports, the servitors at the temple have decided to stay away from the rituals, including offering bhog to the deity, to protest the government inaction in reclaiming the lord’s land that has been illegally grabbed by encroachers.
“The lord has gone without food since yesterday.
Whatever the circumstances maybe, the act of stopping puja of the deity is undesirable and uncalled for.
It is hurting the religious sentiments of millions of followers of Shavite cult,” Aryadatta Mohapatra, a devotee, said.
Sources confirmed that the imbroglio is due to the stand was taken by Brahmin Nijog and Puja Panda Nijog servitors who are demanding that the temple land that has been encroached upon should be reclaimed immediately.
According to local officials, the issue of temple land encroachment had cropped up earlier and the government had constituted a high-level committee for reclaiming the land.
Besides, the matter related to the disputed land is pending before the court, sources said.
“The issue cannot be settled overnight as the servitors are demanding.
The temple management is trying to amicably settle the matter by holding dialogue with the protesting servitors.
Yesterday’s discussion was inconclusive. Fresh talks are being held with servitors and all steps are being taken for early resumption of puja and bhog rituals,” Lingaraja Temple executive officer Pradeep Kumar Sahoo informed.