Priests fight at Jagannath Temple, one gets a bloody nose

Two groups of priests, locally known as Pandas, fought over their share of donations given by devotees at the 12th century Sri Jagannath temple in Orissa on Tuesday.

Puri: Two groups of priests, locally known as
Pandas, fought over their share of donations given by devotees
at the 12th century Sri Jagannath temple in Orissa on Tuesday and
the scuffle was so intense that one of them ended up getting a
bloody nose.

After the unseemly fight, purification rituals had to be
conducted on the deities after the `Ratna Sinhasan` in the
sanctum santorum of the popular shrine had blood splattered on
The fracas took place during `Sahana Mela` (public
darshan) of Lord Jagannath before noon during which one of the
priests was found bleeding from the nose after being hit by
another, police sources said.

When blood was found on the `Ratna Sinhasan`, which is
considered a bad omen, a `Maha Snana`(holy bath) was done for
the deities leading to a delay in normal activities at the
popular shrine.

The incident took place in full public glare in the
presence of police and officials of Sri Jagannath Temple
The priest who was injured on the nose was rushed to
a hospital.

A case was registred at Sinhadwar Police Station
against one of the priests for ssault, the sources said.

The behaviour and conduct of some Pandas at Lord
Jagannath has often come under criticism.

New Delhi: Demanding withdrawal of the Armed
Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Srinagar and several
other places in Jammu and Kashmir, the CPI Tuesday said it was
necessary to have a re-look at the legislation.

"CPI feels it is necessary to have a relook at the AFSPA
at the earliest. It is necessary to withdraw AFSPA from
Srinagar and several other places," the party said in a
statement after the meeting of its National Executive here.

"It is necessary to have broad democratic common platform
to express solidarity with Kashmir and to discuss issues like
human rights violation and autonomy to the state," it added.

Welcoming Centre`s eight-point programme for Jammu and
Kashmir after the visit of all-party delegation there, the CPI
said the government should take "necessary and meaningful"
steps for implementing these proposals in the state.

"The CPI welcomed the proposals, but wanted the
government to take necessary and meaningful steps for the
time-bound implementation of these proposals," it said.

Demanding urgent steps for an early implementation of the
proposals, it said, "there are serious charges levelled by
many people in the state that proposals and packages etc for
Jammu and Kashmir announced in the past were not all
implemented. There was no sincerity on part of the Union

The Left party also asked the Centre to set up a
mechanism involving representatives of political parties to
monitor the implementation of the eight-point programme and
continue the dialogue.
Terming the visit of the all-party delegation as
"fruitful", the party also appreciated its representatives for
holding discussions on their own with the "supposedly
separatist leaders" who had earlier refused to meet them.

In the all-party delegation, CPI was represented by its
senior leader and MP Gurudas Dasgupta, who had briefed the
party national executive yesterday on the visit.
Under the eight-point programme announced late last
month, Government plans to appoint a group of interlocutors to
hold dialogue with all sections of the state. It has advised
the state to release 245 youths from jails and review the
cases of Public Safety Act detainees and granted Rs five lakh
to families of people who have lost their lives in clashes
with security forces.

A task force each for Ladakh and Jammu region would also
be appointed.