Bhubaneswar,November 7(Odisha.in) In a bizarre incident early on Wednesday, three Hindu Indonesian nationals, who had entered the Jagannath Temple, were reportedly been driven out of the shrine by the priests and handed over to police, who later found them to be Hindus.
Three, including two women, were spotted during ‘Mangala Aarti’, a ritual performed daily when temple doors open, Police sources said.
Meanwhile, Police verification showed Mahabahu Das, a local ISKCON devotee, accompanied the Indonesians. Puri Town PS IIC Gyana Ranjan Mohapatra, who was earlier IIC of Chandrasekharpur PS here, said the three were later found to be Hindus and were released after they produced their travel documents.
The foreigners were identified as I Gusti Made Krisiasis, Adraina Ash and I Made Arjana and are part of a 15-member team from that country on a trip organised by ISKCON.
Non-Hindus, even ISKCON devotees are not allowed to enter the 12th century shrine and a board at the main gate of the temple says only “Hindus are allowed entry inside”. President of Sri Jagannath Seva Samilanee (a body of priests) Damodar Mahasuara said all ISKCON devotees mention Hinduism as their religion in their passports and demanded proper verification of foreigners when they come to the temple.
However, such attitudes of Temple Priests have been directly affecting the image of the pilgrimage city of Puri. Recently, the priests of the Temple priests had extorted money from a Chennai-based Bharatnatyam dancer dancer Joytsna Jagannathan, who visited the 12th century shrine in the second week of October. “The dancer, who had then alleged that she was forced to pay money by a section of priests and harassed.