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Goverdhan Peeth Shankaracharya terms Puri eviction drive ‘illegal’

Surjit Kumar Dhal, Puri, Sept 1: Govardhan Peeth shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati has described the recommendations of Justice B P Das commission to demolish structures around Shri Jagannath Temple as “illegal”.

           “According to the special power vested on the Shankaracharya, I declare the recommendation of the Das commission illegal,” he told reporters here on Saturday.

           He said he was not consulted by the judicial panel before submitting its report on temple reforms to the Odisha government.

The seer also did not approve the function of the Supreme Court-appointed amicus curiae on the reforms in the 12th-century shrine.

           “Which administration had prevented the judicial panel and the amicus curiae to consult the shankaracharya?” he asked. “There should be a committee to probe as to why they ignored the shankaracharya’s view on the reforms.”

           The seer said the shankaracharya should be consulted on religious and spiritual matters. “How can the chief minister, law minister or administrators take decision on religious and spiritual mater?” he asked.

          He said Holy City Puri is first a spiritual place and then a place for tourism and suggested the Odisha government to undertake reforms in the holy town.

           The seer said the monasteries linked with the rituals of the shrine should not be demolished without any reason. “Willful demolition of monasteries is just an attack on the religion and traditions,” the seer said.

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