Let me die says Puri Jagannath temple priest in plea before SC
Bhubaneshwar, Nov 1: Four months after the Supreme Court suggested the abolition of hereditary rights of servitors and ordered that no devotee should be forced to give offerings to them, a priest at the Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha has sought permission to end his life.
In his letter to the Chief Justice of India, servitor Narasingha Pujapanda has said that his only source of income was from the devotees. We beg from them and it has been going on for thousands of years. The court and the government is trying to stop out only source of income. How will we survive without income, he also wrote in the letter.
Now that the Supreme Court has asked temple servitors to stop accepting donations from devotees, it is almost impossible to survive, he also wrote. I had approached the Odisha government seeking euthanasia, but it was refused. It is better to die at once rather than waiting for a hunger death, he also said.
Following a petition filed by advocate Mrinalini Padhi, the court had mooted 12 proposals for reforms in the temple. The court had said that servitors will have no claim on the offerings made by devotees and all collections must go to the temple's Hundi.
The court further suggested that a barricaded queue system for devotees from the entrance itself, end to donation to priests and transparency in the management of the temple.