Youth takes selfies at Srimandir, shares it on social media

Puri: Exposing security loopholes at the Jagannath temple here, a youth has allegedly taken several selfies on the shrine precincts and uploaded them on his social media account.

The breach in Srimandir security has invited sharp reactions from several quarters. Locals and social activists have urged the administration to look into the issue and take corrective measures.

The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) had banned the use of mobile phones, cameras and other electronic gadgets on Srimandir premises in the wake of terrorist threat to the shrine. The temple administration has permitted SJTA chief administrator, deputy chief administrator and a few other senior officials to carry mobile phones into Srimandir.

The district administration has deployed armed security personnel and metal detectors at the four gates of Srimandir to prevent the entry of any unwanted persons. However, some devotees manage to take mobile phones into the temple by taking advantage of the security personnel’s callousness, sources said.

Recently, a youth reportedly managed to carry a smart phone into Srimandir and took several selfies at some sensitive places of the 12th century shrine. It is learnt that he has uploaded the photos on his social media account. “The youth has perhaps carried a smart phone several times into Srimandir. He has uploaded several selfies in different clothes on his social media account. The youth has identified himself as the son of a Singhari servitor,” said a local.

Social activists, meanwhile, blamed the district police and SJTA for the incident. They have sought a thorough probe into the selfie issue. “Police should launch an investigation and ascertain how the youth managed to carry a smart phone into Srimandir. Moreover, they should try to find out why security personnel or servitors did not prevent the youth from taking selfies on the shrine precincts,” said a social activist.

District superintendent of police Sarthak Sarangi said they have launched a probe to ascertain the youth’s identity. “We came to know the issue from the media. The issue will be raised with the temple administration. We will try to identify the youth and seize his phone. Besides, he will face action as per Srimandir law,” Sarangi added.

Senior Singhari servitor Baladev Singhari urged the SJTA and police to identify the youth and take stern action against him.   

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