New Delhi, October 10: The Supreme Court on Wednesday barred police from entering the 12th century Puri Jagannath temple with weapons and shoes. A bench comprising Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta said no policemen should enter the temple armed and wearing shoes. It also asked Odisha government to file the response within two weeks.
The apex court also took note of the violence that had broken out during a protest against the introduction of a queue system for devotees on October 3. The plea was filed by a practicing advocate Debasish Misra who alleged that on October 3 police entered the temple with guns after which clash broke out in the shrine.
Counsel appearing for the Odisha government told the court that no violence took place inside the temple premises and the office of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), situated around 500 meters from the main temple, was attacked and ransacked. Sabarimala Temple Verdict: Supreme Court Judgement Allowing Entry of Women of All Ages in Ayyappa Temple Disappointing, Says Head Priest Kandararu Rajeevarau.
47 persons were arrested in connection with the violence, Odisha government said, adding that nine policemen were injured in the violence. On October 3, Socio-cultural organisation Jagannath Sena had called for 12-hour dawn-to-dusk shutdown to protest against the introduction of the queue system, according to which the devotees have to enter the shrine by forming a queue at the Singhadwara, which is the main entrance to the temple.