Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday took the DGP Sanjeev Marik to task for touching the feet of a senior servitor of 12th century Jagannath temple in Puri during the Nabakalebara ceremony.
During an hour-long meeting at Secretariat, Naveen asked Marik to keep in mind the power and position he holds as a senior police officer and advised him to be careful in future so that such things do not recur. “Marik’s public conduct in uniform is not acceptable. Chief Minister has expressed displeasure over the matter,” said Excise and Cooperation Minister Damodar Rout.
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The Chief Minister’s reprimand came two months after Marik was seen touching the feet of a few senior servitors during his visit to the location of Sudarshan’s daru (neem tree) at Gadakhuntunia village near Balakati in Khurda district. The photographs, which were splashed in local newspapers as well as TV channels, showed an uniformed DGP touching feet of Ramakrushna Dasmohapatra, Jagannath Dasmohapatra and Binayak Dasmohapatra.
Naveen also warned Marik not to tolerate any indiscipline during the Rath Yatra scheduled to be held on July 18.
The Chief Minister was forced to act after opposition Congress and BJP accused him of mismanaging Nabakalebara, the holy event of re-embodiment of the idols that happens between 12-19 years. This year, the festival has been ridden with controversies with the temple servitors failing to adhere to the age-old rituals of the temple.