Bhubaneshwar: Police on Tuesday detained a few priests of Jagannath Temple in Puri after they threatened to oppose West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s scheduled visit to the 12th century shrine on Wednesday morning. Mamata is expected to reach Puri on Tuesday night.
The servitors said they are angry with Mamata for allegedly supporting consumption of beef. “We came to know from media reports that she supports cow-slaughter. In July 2016 she said consumption of beef is nothing wrong. It indicates she consumes beef. We will not allow her to enter Jagannath Temple,” said a detained priest Somanath Khuntia, who is also the secretary of Sri Jagannath Sevayat Sammilani, an association of some priests of the temple.
“We detained him and some of his association members for questioning. Since the WB chief minister is a ‘Z Plus’ protectee, we have arranged adequate security for her. She is likely to have darshan of the deities at Puri temple on Wednesday morning. But we have not been informed about the exact time of her visit to Jagannath Temple. She will decide the time after reaching Puri tonight,” SP (Puri) Sarthak Sarangi said. The Trinamool Congress supremo is scheduled to arrive at Biju Patnaik International Airport here at 8.55 pm on Tuesday. She will proceed to Puri by road and stay overnight at the special circuit house.
Mamata is scheduled to depart from Bhubaneswar on April 20. During her stay in Odisha, she is likely to meet chief minister Naveen Patnaik. Talks are doing the rounds that she may meet her party MP and close aide Sudip Bandopadhyay at Jharpada special jail in Bhubaneswar. Sudip and TMC MP Tapas Pal were arrested by CBI in connection with Rose Valley chit fund scam.