Puri: Lakhs of devotees including Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad on Saturday visited the Lord Jagannath temple here on New Year`s Day while reports of three non-Hindus having `intruded` into the 12th century shrine caused a flutter among the temple authority.
While people made long queues before the temple to have `darshan` of the deities, three youths, believed to be non-Hindus, managed to enter into the shrine in the meele, 15 minutes before Patnaik`s arrival, police said.
The trio were, however, spotted inside the outer sphere of the temple and whisked away by some locals to an unknown place before the news spread, police said.
The priests wondered how the trio could enter the temple with tight security about 15 minutes before Chief Minister Patnaik`s arrival at the Lions Gate.
"There was tight security in and around the temple when Patnaik entered the premises," said Laxminarayan Singhari, an elderly priest.
Superintendent of Police (SP), Puri, Sanjay Kumar remained tight-lipped over this issue.
Though a sign board at the Lion`s Gate clearly mentioned that non-Hindus are not allowed as part of centuries old tradition, police suspected the youths of another community deliberately entered the temple.
Bihar strongman Lalu Yadav, accompanied by unarmed body guards, also had `darshan` of Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra during the day.
The former chief minister`s body guards were asked to leave their arms outside the temple as firearms are not allowed inside.
The security personnel last night detained a foreign national attempting to enter into the temple here.