According to sources, a group of Hindu devotees after visiting a Hindu temple function in Manipur, came to Puri and submitted their papers in support of their religious status with the temple administrator seeking permission for entry into the Jagannath temple.
The temple administrator after scrutiny of their official papers and travel documents permitted them to enter into the temple. The police officers and the temple security men accompanied the five member troupe into the temple this morning.
While they were being conducted into the sanctum sanctorum of the Jagannath temple, some temple servitors questioned them about their ''Gotra'', a code allotted to all Hindus. Since they failed to answer the query, the servitors prohibited their entry into the sanctum sanctorum.
Anticipating trouble, the accompanying police personnel escorted them out of the temple to the police outpost. The matter was referred to the temple managing committee to take a final decision as the Jagannath temple is considered as one of the most orthodox and ancient Hindu shrines of the country.
When contacted Temple security in charge Gyanranjan Mahapatra said the travel document of the five Bali devotees reflected they were all Hindus but since it was a sensitive issue,the police kept mum.
Dharmako one of the devotees denied entry to the temple later told newsmen, " All the population in Bali Island are Hindus. We have Jagannath temple in our place. The Gajapati king has visited our temple and we have also participated in Hindu rituals in Manipur temples recently. " " We were frustrated as despite permission from Jagannath temple administration and police our entry to the temple was prevented, " Dharmako said and hoped, " The Lord would certainly allow us for his darshan. " This was the second such incident in this month wherein the Hindu devotees of Bali were denied darshan of the lord in the sanctum sanctorum. The temple managing body, sources said, will shortly meet to discuss the issue.