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President of India, his wife were 'misbehaved' during their visit to Puri Jagannath Temple

Thursday June 28, 2018 3:41 PM, News Network

President Kovind at Jagannath Temple

New Delhi: In a shocking portrayal of how deep rooted discrimination in India is based on someone's caste, President Ram Nath Kovind and his wife Savita Kovind were misbehaved and harassed during their visit to Jagannath Temple in Odisha on March 18.

As reported by The Times of India some servitors had obstructed the path of the President near the shrine’s sanctum sanctorum. The incident came to light after Puri district administration initiated an investigation into the incident three months after the it took place.

The newspaper in its report said a group of servitors blocked the President’s path near the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine on March 18 and shoved the First Lady.

Rashtrapati Bhavan had on March 19 sent a strong note of protest against the servitors’ conduct to Puri collector Aravind Agarwal, following which a meeting was held by the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) the next day.

On March 18, the temple was kept out of bounds for devotees from 6.35am to 8.40am to ensure smooth darshan for the dignitaries. A handful of servitors and government officers were allowed to accompany Kovind and his wife inside the temple, the report stated.

As per Pragativadi, a local daily, when President Kovind walked towards Ratna Singhasana in Puri Jagannath temple, a Khuntia Mekap servitor reportedly did not give the President proper space. The report added that some servitors ‘nudged’ the couple while they were having darshan.

The incident was confirmed by SJTA chief administrator, IAS officer Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra. Mohapatra, however, refused to elaborate further. “We discussed the matter at a meeting of the temple managing committee a few days ago. It is being investigated,” he said.

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