Mahantas appeal to CJI to issue stay on demolition drive around Jagannath Temple.
Chiefs of 13 mutts have raised an objection to the demolition of mutts and claimed that the Advocate General’s submission in the Supreme Court that Mahantas have consented for the demolition is false.
ENS | Puri- Bhubaneswar : As the discussion between the Puri Surakshya Manch and the District Collector on Wednesday over demolition of monasteries near Jagannath temple remained inconclusive, Mahantas of different mutts in Puri have appealed to the Chief Justice of India to issue a stay order on the eviction drive and ensure that the matter is properly heard by the apex court.
In an open letter, chiefs of 13 mutts have raised an objection to the demolition of mutts and claimed that the Advocate General’s submission in the Supreme Court that Mahantas have consented for the demolition is false.
“We, the Mahantas, have certainly not given consent for destruction/demolition of our mutts. Rather, we are being now forced by the district administration to give consent for demolition. But surprisingly, based on the Advocate General’s submission, the Supreme Court dismissed the petition of Indic Collective Trust without a due hearing. The trust had sought for protection of heritage,” the letter stated.
Puri district administration started the demolition drive within 75-metre zone from the walls of Jagannath temple after State Cabinet passed a resolution basing on an interim report of Justice BP Das Commission.
There are 18 mutts of various denominations which have definite rights to serve the Lord as per the Record of Rights of the temple.
The Mahanta’s claimed that the mutts have both material and spiritual significance since those are centuries-old heritage structures and great Acharyas like Ramanujacharya, Nimbark Acharya, Madhwa Acharya, Sri Chandra (Udasini), Dasanami, Ramananda Acharya, Bishnu Swami, Vallabhacharya, Chaitanya and Guru Nanak had visited/established the mutts and/or stayed there.
“Odisha Government has a duty to protect and promote such heritage structures as part of the temple eco-system. The Supreme Court had asked the amicus curiae to visit Puri and submit a report.
But instead of waiting for the visit, the Government is demolishing the mutts as quick as possible without caring for heritage and spiritual values and conducting a formal study,” they said.
Meanwhile, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has expressed concern over the demolition of mutts and the surrounding old religious structures.
Odisha’s east zone working president of VHP Nagen Kumar Debata said the mutts were rendering many services to Jagannath temple for which they were allowed to stay close to the main temple.
“Those are also part of the heritage and need to be conserved,” he said and questioned the authenticity of Justice BP Das Commission, which was not allowed to submit the final report as the State Government abruptly ended its tenure. He demanded that the interim report should be made public.
Source : Hindu Existence