Jagatsinghpur, August 13 (LocalWire): On the occasion of Rakhi Purnmia, a special puja has been organised at Sarala Temple and apprehending a clash between the two groups of priests and sevayats over performing the rituals, Tirtol police has slapped Section 107 of CrPC against 52 sevayats and priests.
Head priests Ranjan Panda and Kaibalaya Panda along with opponent head priests Pragyandipta Panda and Janmajaya Panda, who had breached peace, have also been asked to appear before the court to execute a bond by the executive magistrate-cum-tehsildar, Tirtol.
Daily, hundreds of devotes throng to Sarala temple, Kanakpur, but they can neither perform rituals nor worship the Goddess in peace.
Rift among the sevayats and priests have taken an ugly turn as they devised a policy where sevayats from a particular area can perform rituals for the devotees from the same area.
They allegedly also demand money to perform the rituals and non-payment leads to clashes between devotees and sevayats.
Last month, a dispute between the families of two head priests had come to such a stage that the temple was shut and no one could perform the rituals of the goddess for a while.
Every year, nearly 74 special rituals are performed at the temple by head priests while other priests perform the daily rituals.
Ranjan Panda and Kaibalaya Panda were forcibly stopped from performing rituals by the other set of head priests Pragyandipta Panda and Janmajaya Panda violating the endowment commission directive.
Later, Collector Sangram Keshari Mohapatra intervned and directed the head priests to perform on rotation basis as these two sets of head priests are considered as two branches of common ancestor namely Sadashiba Badapanda.
Tehsildar-cum-executive magistrate, Tirtol, Sujata Patra, said out of the 52 sevayats, 50 priests have appeared before the court to execute the bond for a period of six months to keep peace in the locality while two sevayats have not appeared till date.