Odisha Law Minister Pratap Jena, on Tuesday, informed the state Assembly that the Naveen Patnaik government has started the process to sell nearly 35,272 acres of land registered in the name of Lord Jagannath.
"Around 60,426 acres of land in the name of Lord Jagannath, has been identified in 24 districts across the state. Over 395 acres of land has been identified in West Bengal, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Bihar," he said in response to a query.
“The state government has taken necessary steps to sell the temple land as per the recommendation of a committee headed by former Governor BD Sharma and the approval of the Jagannath temple managing committee," he added.
However, now the Shree Jagannatha Temple Administration (SJTA) has denied the reports as ‘blatantly false and motivated’.
In a series of tweets, SJTA chief administrator Krishan Kumar clarified that it has been falsely reported that 35,000 acres of land of Lord Jagannath is being sold. "This is a complete distortion of facts and is blatantly false and motivated," he added.
He also urged the people of Odisha and devotees of Lord Jagannath to not be misguided by ‘malicious lies and false reporting’.
"The lands, which are occupied or are under the possession of various persons since long but belong to Shree Jagannatha Mahaprabhu, are being settled by the temple committee as per the ‘Unified Policy’, framed for the purpose in the year 2003 (sic),"