President, wife faced harassment at the temple

New Delhi: President Ramnath Kovind and his wife Savita Kovind were allegedly harassed at Jagannath temple which raises the question that is a Dalit disrespected at the temple even if he is the first citizen of the country. Earlier also the president and his wife were not permitted to enter into a temple in Rajasthan. A picture of both doing puja on the steps had gone viral. Later it was clarified that since Savita Kovind had pain in the foot she could not enter into the temple and did puja on the steps. However, another incident has also been reported in the Times of India in which President Ram Nath Kovind and his wife Savita faced ‘harassment’ 3 months ago during their maiden trip to Jagannath Temple in Odisha.

As reported by the Times of India report, a group of servitors blocked the President’s path near the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine on March 18 and shoved the First Lady. Rashtrapati Bhavan had on March 19 sent a strong note of protest against the servitors’ conduct to Puri collector Aravind Agarwal, following which a meeting was held by the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) the next day.

The incident came to light on Tuesday. According to a local newspaper, Pragativadi, the President went near Ratna Singhasana in the innermost chamber of Puri Jagannath temple, a Khuntia Mekap servitor allegedly did not make room for him. Besides, some servitors allegedly nudged Kovind and his wife while both were having darshan of the deities.