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Probe sought into anomalies

Samaj seeks election

Ugratora temple in Guwahati. Telegraph picture

Guwahati, July 18: Bordeuri Samaj, a society of priests at Ugratora temple, an ancient Shakti shrine here, today demanded an inquiry into alleged financial anomalies in the functioning of the temple management committee and sought its election. The last election had been conducted in 2003.

The Samaj today held a public meeting on the temple premises here at Latasil and demanded that it be handed over to Bordeuri Samaj as is being done with Kamakhya temple, another shakti peeth, following a Supreme Court order.

"After the elected doloi (head priest) Bipin Sarma died in 2003, the committee should have conducted elections in consultation with the district and sessions judge according to the temple norms. But instead of doing so, the committee misguided the sessions judge and evaded elections. A group led by secretary Paresh Kalita had committed anomalies while using the temple funds in the name of its development and renovation. Above all, Gajen Phukan, a resident, who was a supporter of Kalita had moved Gauhati High Court in 2006 against conduct of election in the temple but the petition was rejected by the court in May this year. But no steps have been taken so far for the election," Bani Bikram Sarma, a member of Bordeuri Samaj, said.

The temple, constructed during Ahom King Shiv Singha's reign in 1725, is one of the revered Shakti shrines in the state. Hundreds of people visit the temple daily.

The controversy over temple management has affected its promotion. "We have already moved Gauhati High Court complaining that election to the committee has not been conducted, in violation of the norms. According to the norms set by Calcutta High Court in 1936, a doloi is elected for 10 years and Bordeuri Samaj for five years. But the committee had appointed Kamal Bhattacharjee as the ad hoc doloi in 2009 and avoided election in violation of the norms," Sarma alleged.

"We want a new doloi to be elected immediately according to the norms and investigation should be carried out to unearth the financial anomalies which the ad hoc committee has committed," another member, Kailash Sarma, said.

Bhattacharjee, the present doloi of the temple, when asked by The Telegraph , denied allegations of financial anomalies.

"We submit our annual financial statements to the district and sessions judge and hence there is no question of anomalies," he said.

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