Supreme Court rejects Jagannath Sena’s plea for CBI probe into entry of police personnel with shoes inside Srimandir

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the plea of Sri Jagannath Sena seeking a CBI probe into the entry of police personnel with shoes inside Puri Srimandir. A socio-cultural organisation, Sri Jagannath Sena had, on November 2, filed a writ petition in the apex court urging for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation, into the issue.

A two-judge bench of Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta today rejected the outfit’s plea seeking a CBI probe on the entry of policemen inside Srimandir during Puri bandh.

It may be mentioned here that a massive violence broke out in Puri on October 3, after the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) introduced queue system (Dhadi Darshan) for devotees in the 12th Century shrine. The unrest finally landed in the Supreme Court.

The apex court on October 10 ordered that no policeman should enter the temple armed and wearing shoes. The court also sought responses within two weeks from the Odisha government, the amicus curiae in the case, the petitioner and the temple administration.

The Odisha government told the Supreme Court that 47 people had been arrested in connection with the violence in Puri on 3 October. The state also asserted that there was no violence inside the Srimandir premises, but the office of the temple administration was attacked and ransacked.

Nine policemen were injured in the clashes that broke out during a 12-hour strike called by socio-cultural organisation Sri Jagannath Sena in protest against the introduction of a queue system for devotees visiting the Jagannath temple. According to the Odisha police, the dawn-to-dusk shutdown in the seaside town called by the Sena turned violent as a mob barged into the 12th Century shrine, uprooted barricades erected at the Baisi Pahacha (the inner gate of the temple) and near the Singhadwara (the main entry) and ransacked the office of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration.

The protesters also ransacked a police outpost, an information centre near the Singhadwara as well as the town police station, besides burning tyres and indulging in stone pelting, the police had said.

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