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Priests fined Rs. 7.5 lakh for serving food inside Bankey Bihari temple

Two priests of Bankey Bihari temple have been slapped with a fine of Rs. 7.5 lakh by the management for flouting rules and serving food to some state government officials, including the Chief Secretary, inside the premises.

The Temple Management Committee, which met yesterday, has given seven days time to the two sevayats, Anand Kishor Goswami and Jugal Kishor Goswami to deposit the amount.

Failing the deadline, the family of the priests would be denied facilities they get from the temple, and the two would be declared ineligible to contest for Temple Committee elections, president of Temple Management Committee Nand Kishor Upmanyu said.

The decision in this regard was taken at the residence of President of the committee in which vice president Ghanshyam Goswami, and other committee members Rajat Goswami, Brajesh Goswami, Gaurav Goswami and Vikas Varshaney were present.

Upmanyu said the matter could also be raised in the court as in 2004, a local court had banned dining inside the temple to maintain cleanliness.

Meanwhile, the two priests have termed the decision “malicious”.

They said, there have been instances of sevayat priests offering ‘prasad’ inside the temple earlier as well, they said asking why only they were being held guilty.

The two priests, on June 30, had served food to 74 officials including Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan and his wife inside the temple premises, when they had gone to see the development works there.

On the basis of the CCTV footage, the Committee had issued show-cause notice to the two priests, who in their reply claimed innocence.

“We are not aware of any court ruling regarding this and also it’s none of the Committee’s business to ensure we comply with the court orders,” the two had said.

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