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Odisha temple snub

Bhubaneswar, Oct. 14: A group of 70 girl students from a missionary school in Jharkhand was turned away from the Sri Jagannath Temple today. The girls, who had entered the temple premises, were taken out of the complex by the temple police.

According to tradition, non-Hindus are not allowed inside the 12th century temple. The students, who were from Chaibasa in Jharkhand, were inside the hall of audience (Jagmohan) when the priests objected to their presence.

“On seeing them, I suspected that they were not Hindus. I enquired about their gotra (clan name), which they failed to tell,” said Somnath Khuntia, a servitor. The servitors then informed the temple commander.

The temple’s public relations officer Laxmidhar Pujapanda said the students had entered the temple as they were not aware of the tradition. “They were told about the temple rules and asked to go out,” he said.