West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, who arrived in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday evening on a three-day tour to the state witnessed agitation from the priests of Jagannath temple. Annoyed with West Bengal CM’s ‘support’ for those who eat beef, more than 12,000 priests at Jagannath Temple are preparing to stop her entry in the temple.
Somanath Khuntia, secretary of Sri Jagannath Sevayat Sammilani said, “Several times we have heard her make statements that there should not be any ban on beef consumption. We also saw her many times offering Namaz at a mosque during Muslim festivals. All these are against the culture of Lord Jagannath. We will not allow her to visit the Jagannath temple at any cost.”
“We don’t want someone to impure our Lord Jagannath Temple. She is openly supporting beef consumption. Last year, she said consumption of beef is not wrong. It shows that she may have tried beef. As per the temple’s rules, such people are not allowed inside the premises. We are going to stage a demonstration and will block the temple’s entry point.” he added.
Condemning the protest, Trinamool Congress MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said, “The priests in Puri, who are opposing Mamata’s visit, are speaking the language of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With the current political situation, we can see the country will once again split in the name of religion. This is very unfortunate. I can see a dangerous era in future. It’s time for all of us to think how to deal with the bad forces. This is not the problem of TMC alone, but of people across Bengal.”
The Odisha Police on Tuesday detained a servitor of the Jagannath Temple for allegedly threatening to oppose West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s visit to the shrine. Khuntia and his supporters were also detained for raising slogans against WB CM.
Puri Superintendent of Police Sarthak Sarangi said, “We have deployed an adequate number of policemen to prevent any law and order situation near the Jagannath Temple. The West Bengal CM is covered under Z Plus security, and therefore we have made adequate security arrangements.”
Mamata was scheduled to arrive at Biju Patnaik International Airport at 8.55 pm on Tuesday. As per her plan she will visit the Puri temple on Wednesday morning. To explore possibilities in the state, Banerjee is also to meet Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to discuss an alliance.