Saturday, April 23, 2016

ISKCON temple row: Odisha officials conduct on-spot survey

Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) Central Division A B Ota today conducted an on-spot survey of the land in Sipasarubali mouza of Baliapanda area in Odisha’s holy town Puri wherein International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) has proposed to construct the controversial second Jagannath temple.

“There is an apprehension in the mind of the public that a temple like that of the Shree Mandir will be built. I am discussing that. Secondly, whether they are going to worship any idol of Lord Jagannath in the temple. Thirdly, if there is any illegal occupation of government land, then it will be freed from encroachment,” said Ota talking to reporters.
Earlier in the day, the RDC held detailed discussions with officials of the district administration at the Circuit House here.
The RDC tried to find out if any irregularities were committed by the Puri-Konark Development Authority (PKDA) while approving the plan for the proposed temple.
Ota also tried to find out whether ISKCON had any plans to construct Jagannath temple as mentioned in the brochure  and whether any government land was illegally occupied by ISKCON within the plan approved area.
Notably, senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra on January 18 had alleged at a press conference that ISKCON was conspiring to construct another Jagannath temple in Sipasarubali mouza in Puri.
On the next day, PKDA had ordered stopping construction of the proposed temple till disposal of the case.
On the other hand, ISKCON at a press conference on the same day had clarified that Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra would not be worshipped at the proposed temple.
Following public outcry Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on February 10 had ordered an administrative inquiry into the construction of the proposed Jagannath temple by ISKCON in Puri by the RDC Central Division and submit the report within 60 days.

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