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HC slams temple rule flout

The high court on Thursday observed that the Kalighat temple authorities were flouting its order and the reign of the pandas that the judiciary had set out to eradicate was back at the shrine.

The division bench of Chief Justice J.N. Patel and Justice Joymalya Bagchi gave liberty to petitioner Suravi Basu to inform all parties to come to court again. It also ordered the state government to file a status report in the form of an affidavit on the temple.

“It is unfortunate that the temple authorities are not following the guidelines framed by this court. Panda raj has returned to the temple and pilgrims are the worst affected. It is difficult for the common man to visit the temple,” the bench observed.

The high court had on April 20 put in place a set of measures aimed at ending extortion of devotees by pandas at the temple. The order included a ban on the entry of pandas in the sanctum sanctorum, which was later set aside by the Supreme Court.

The high court had also asked the temple committee to mention the names of on-duty priests on a board, keep the premises clean and instal closed-circuit cameras at various points. The police were asked to depute an officer not below the rank of assistant commissioner to maintain law and order in the compound.

The petitioner’s lawyer submitted that none of the directives was being followed.

LPG cylinders: Eighteen domestic LPG cylinders were seized in a raid on a shanty on VIP Road on Thursday evening. These cylinders were acquired by a group who ran a racket of partially emptying the cylinders and supplying the gas to LPG autos, said Santosh Nimbalkar, an assistant deputy commissioner in the Bidhannagar commissionerate.