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President security breach: First lady pushed and nudged by servitors at Puri Jagannath Temple

Puri, June 26, 2018: The Jagannath Temple here is back in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Three servitors of Jagannath temple reportedly pushed and nudged Savita Kovind, the First Lady of India during the President couple’s visit to the 12th century shrine on March 18 this year.

The shocking revelation has came to fore after the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) decided to serve show-cause notice to the three erring servitors recently after the Rashtrapati Bhavan expressed strong displeasure over the incident and sent a letter to the Puri Collector to this effect.

Sources said the Puri Collector received a letter from Rastrapati Bhavan in March fourth week and the matter was taken at the Jagannath Temple Managing Committee meeting chaired by Puri King Dibya Singh Deb held on April 4. After Puri Collector Aravind Agrawal informed the committee about the Rastrapati Bhavan letter, the SJTA started an inquiry.

However, the fresh Managing Committee meeting held on June 23 had decided to serve show-cause notice to the three servitors.

The shameful incident has put the Puri district administration, Shree Jagannath Temple Administration and State administration in a fix.

On March 18, Kovind and his wife paid their maiden visits to the temple. Breaching his tight security protocol, three servitors aged about 50 allegedly came close to the VVIP couple and pushed and nudged them, much to the discomfiture of the President and the First Lady.

The brazen incident came to limelight when the Supreme Court, while hearing a PIL filed by Cuttack-based lawyer Mrinalini Padhi on June 8, took strong note of the exploitative conduct of servitors at Puri Jagannath Temple and directed the State Government to take adequate measures to prevent harassment of devotees. 

Servitors of Jagannath Temple often hog limelight for their bad behaviour with devotees.

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