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10 Oct 2018

SC: Policemen can't wear shoes, carry weapons into Jagannath Temple

Puri violence: SC gives directions to police

After violence erupted at the iconic Jagannath Temple in Puri on October 3, the Supreme Court, on Wednesday, said that no policemen should enter the temple with weapons and shoes.

Meanwhile, the Odisha government told the apex court that 47 people had been arrested in connection with the violence that broke out last Wednesday in Puri.

Here are the details.

In context

Puri violence: SC gives directions to police
The violence that unfolded in Puri on October 3


The violence that unfolded in Puri on October 3

On October 3, socio-cultural organization Sri Jagannath Sena called a 12-hour bandh in Puri to protest against the implementation of a queue system for devotees going to the Jagannath Temple.

However, the bandh became violent as an angry mob stormed the 12th century shrine, broke barricades, and ransacked the Shree Jagannath Temple Association (SJTA) office, a police outpost, and Puri MLA Maheswar Mohanty's residence.


The violence left nine policemen injured; protests still on

The violence, which saw incidents of stone pelting and burning tyres, left nine policemen injured.

Subsequently, the police launched a flag march to restore order in the city, and eventually, 47 people were arrested in connection with the violence, including some priests.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, several protesting sevayats (servitors) at the Jagannath Temple refused to carry out their duties, thus delaying rituals for hours.

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BJP slams CM Naveen Patnaik for his "silence"


BJP slams CM Naveen Patnaik for his "silence"

Of course, the incident has been politicized.

While the chief administrator of SJTA, which implemented the queue system told IE that it had done so on the basis of a court order, BJP spokesperson Pitambar Acharya said that no such orders had been given.

The BJP also criticized the SJTA's unilateral decision, and slammed CM Naveen Patnaik for his "silence" on the incident.

What BJP spokesperson Pitambar Acharya had to say

"It is not clear why SJTA implemented the queue (system), without consulting priests, locals, political parties and other stakeholders," said Acharya, criticizing the SJTA's unilateral decision to implement the queue system.

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