AGARTALA: The Tripura Sundari Temple, one of the 51 most revered Hindu shrines located at Udaipur, headquarters of the Gomati district in Southern Tripura, has attracting controversy for all the wrong reasons when the entire nation is under lockdown.
The District Magistrate of Gomati district and few senior leaders of the BJP are under fire for "desecrating" the holy lake – Kalyan Sagar in the temple compound and violating the lockdown rules in its premises. Tourism Minister Pranaji Singha Roy has already ordered an investigation over the allegation of desecration of the lake but remained silent over the other issue.
The Kalyan Sagar Lake is famous for its fishes and tortoises and the temple authority feeds the aquatic animals with meat of goats sacrificed every day in the temple. This practice has been followed for centuries.
During the lockdown period, the authority stopped the sacrifice of goats in the temple and such there was no meat available for the fishes and tortoises. At this juncture, the District Magistrate decided to introduce broiler chicken for the creatures in the lake. And this started the controversy.
The Tripura Sundari Temple is run by the State government as per the State's merger agreement with India signed on October 15, 1949 and as per the agreement, the District Magistrate is the Sabaite (Chief Worshipper) of the temple. As per his position, he decided to introduce broiler meet but this angered the priests of the temple.
Chandan Chakraborty, the chief priest, raised his objection in a meeting of the Temple Trust held on Wednesday presided over by the Minister as the head of the trust. After long deliberations, the minister ordered an investigation over the issue and told the Additional District Magistrate Visal Kumar, who is in-charge of the DM, to submit a report as early as possible.
However, all remained silent over another issue of violating the lockdown rules in the temple. There is an allegation that some of the BJP leaders recently visited the temple and offered puja though there is a blanket ban on the visit by pilgrims in the temple area.
The Youth Congress raised the issue and demanded a high-level investigation over both the issues. A delegation of the organization led by its president Soumitra Biswas met Additional District Magistrate Visal Kumar and submitted a memorandum. They alleged that the authority has desecrated the Kalyan Sagar Lake hurting the sentiment of the people. They also alleged that the authority has not only violated the lockdown rules, but has also created discrimination among the pilgrims which is totally unwanted.