Puri: The pontiffs of mutts here have sought a clear-cut policy for smooth management of their day-to-day affairs.
At a meeting with Endowment Commissioner Biraja Prasad Datta recently, the pontiffs claimed that they have been receiving instructions from the Endowment department as well as the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) simultaneously on various issues for several years.
“We are being ruled by dual authorities for many years. The government should frame a concrete policy on this,” said a pontiff.
Krushnagopal Das, an inmate of Radhakanta Mutt, claimed that the police harass them during the Rath Yatra of Srimandir deities even though they are entitled to perform Sankirtan in front of the three chariots. “Police often ask us to perform at least 200 metres away from the security cordon around the chariots,” Das said.
Participating in the meeting, Siddharam Guru, the interim trustee of Jejeram Mutt, informed the Endowment Commissioner that the district administration and SJTA never invite them to Rath Yatra coordination meetings.
“Pontiffs and mutt inmates are accorded special status at Badrinath and other pilgrim centres. However, the district administration and SJTA have not made any special arrangements for people associated with mutts,” said Uttarparshow Mutt Pontiff Narayan Ramanuja Das. A few pontiffs also sought financial help from the government citing their poor finances. “Raghab Das Mutt is entitled to provide special services to the Srimandir deities. But the mutt has been going through bad times for years,” said its executive officer.
The Endowment Commissioner assured the pontiffs that he would raise all their problems with the SJTA and the district administration. “All these issues will be solved as per the law,” Datta told the pontiffs. The pontiffs and representatives of mutts like Nebal Das, Badachhata, Maniram, Badaakhada, Daskhinaparshow, Languli and Hati Akhada were present at the meeting.
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