PURI: The rituals of deities in Jagannath temple here continued to be disrupted for second day today due to the standoff between the servitors and the temple administration. Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra have remained without food for the last 30 hours as the Mahaprasad could not be offered to them. According to sources, there was inordinate delay in performing the rituals on Sunday as a servitor, who became unfit to perform duty after one of his family members passed away, could not be replaced. Since the Orissa High Court had directed that only the servitor on duty would be allowed into the sanctum sanctorum, the administration officials were in a fix to nominate another.
Though the Mahaprasad was prepared in the temple kitchen, it could not be offered to the deities in the Garbhagruha. Later, it was buried in the Koili Baikuntha in the temple complex. Besides, opening of Jagamohan for devotees was delayed. Following the incident, the Supakaras (temple cooks) were up in arms against the administration demanding Rs 30 lakh as compensation for the Mahaprasad from the administration.
They staged a dharna in front of the temple main gate to press their demand. In order to resolve the issue, a meeting of the administration officials and Supakar leaders Damodar Mahasuar and Krushna Chandra Samantray were held in presence of District Magistrate Arabind Agarwal and SP Sarthak Sarangi. But the meeting failed to take any decision as the temple administration refused to pay the compensation on the ground that it was not responsible for the Mahaprasad cooked for commercial purpose.
After Mangal Aarati and Abakash, the deities were dressed but breakfast and lunch were not offered to them. The Bhog was not cooked as the Rosa Homa was not performed. Beside, the kitchen would be cleansed. It is expected that the daily nitees would be completed by late night. The temple managing body is holding another meeting to mitigate the problem.
Since Gajapati Dibyasingh Dev, the chairperson of the temple administration, is absent, Satchidanand Dash, a senior member is conducting the meeting. Temple officials said that the nitees and rituals would be streamlined from Wednesday. Meanwhile, devotees have started arriving in large number in the Pilgrim Town for the 21- day Chandan Yatra scheduled from Akshyaya Tritiya on Wednesday.