Supported by the BJP Odisha unit, the bar association of Puri has called for a 12-hour bandh in the holy town on Wednesday protesting against the mismanagement of Lord Jagannath's 'Brahma Paribartan' ritual on June 15 while the powerful body of temple servitors, Daitapati Nijog, on Tuesday tendered an apology for the "blunder."
"It (Brahma Paribartan during day time) was a blunder. I, on behalf of the Daitapati Nijog (union) tender apology. We also pledge that such mistake will not recur," Daitapati Nijog Secretary Premananda Dasmohapatra told reporters while visiting Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) office to depose before an inquiry conducted by the chief administrator.
Dasmohapatra also announced that they were committed to undertake rest of the rituals during 'Ratha Jatra' with all devotion.
"We promise to carry out rest of the rituals on time. We have no intention to hurt the sentiments of Lord Jagannath's devotees," he said.
Dasmohapatra was among the five priests who deposed before the inquiry being conducted under the provisions of Sri Jagannath Temple Act, 1955.
On Sunday, the four 'Badagrahis' (body protectors of idols of Jagannath Temple) had recorded their statements with the SJTA which is probing into the cause of delay in the conduct of Brahma paribartan (transfer of life substance from old idols to new ones during Nabakalebara).
Though it was earlier scheduled to conduct 'Brahma Paribartan' on 'amabashya' night and 'Sankranti' on 'Chaturdasi tithi' on June 15, the Daitapati priests performed the most secret and sacred ritual during day time on June 16.
This apart, the Daitapati priests also allegedly fought among themselves before the ritual leading to delay in 'Brahma Paribartan.'
As lakhs of Jagannath devotees demand action against erring priests, Bar Association of Puri gave a call for a 12-hour bandh.
They demanded stringent action against the culprits and a judicial inquiry into the cause of delay by a sitting high court judge.
The high court bar association has also decided to support the bandh call given by the Puri lawyers.
"We will go for a cease work agitation tomorrow supporting the lawyers of Puri," said high court bar association president Ashok Kumar Mohapara. He also called upon other bar associations in the state to support the Puri lawyers.
"We have decided to support the bandh call given by the lawyers of Puri as the centuries-old tradition had been violated in Shree Jagannath Temple," BJP state president KV Singhdeo said, blaming the state government for the mismanagement in 'Brahma Paribartan' ritual.