On Tuesday, two temples—Bati Mandir and Dhuni Mandir—that were part of the grounds of the well-known Mahima shrine in Joranda in the Dhenkanal district perished.
To prevent any law and order issues, the local government enacted prohibitory orders under Section 144 and stationed five platoons of police at the site before beginning the demolition campaign. The temples were then completely destroyed by JCB machines as the Sub-Collector and ASP watched on.
Notably, ownership of Bati Mandir and Dhuni Mandir has been a point of contention between Bakkaladhari Mahima Samaj and Kaupindhari Mahima Samaj. Since 1945, the High Court had been hearing arguments in the case. The local government destroyed the temples as directed by the court in this matter.Right now, barricades have been erected around the shrine to keep regular people out of the contentious area.
The Bakkaladhari Mahima Samaj, however, is charged with planning the demolition by the Kaupindhari Mahima Samaj.
“Kupindharis were making use of the temple. Raghunath Dash, Math Mahanta of Kaupindhari Mahima Samaj, stated that Bakkaladhari Mahima Samaj was responsible for the plot against us that ultimately resulted in its demolition.The president of Bakkaladhari Mahima Samaj, on the other hand, dismissed the accusation as unfounded and said that the destruction was completed in accordance with the court’s directive.“This is not the main temple. The main temple is Gadi Mandir. I only know that the temples were demolished as per the court order and know nothing beyond that,” maintained president of Bakkaladhari Mahima Samaj, Baba Sukadev Dash.
In the meantime, the Kaupindhari Mahima Samaj has made the decision to knock on the Supreme Court’s doors in search of “justice.”
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