BHUBANESWAR, INDIA, July 1, 2014 (Asian Age): The Gajapati king of Puri, Dibyasingha Deb, on Monday expressed his deep shock and anguish over the non-participation of the Shankaracharya of Goverdhan Peeth Swami Nischalananda Saraswati in the Rath Yatra festival on Sunday as the government put restrictions on the seer's right to climb the chariots and perform puja.
"I'm pained that Jagadguru Sankaracharya could not perform his traditional rituals on the chariots. He is the religious guru of the Hindus. The letter issued by the state government putting restriction on his rights to perform puja atop the chariots is unjust. Neither the state government nor the Sri Jagannath Temple administration has got any authority to infringe upon his religious rights," the king, who is regarded as the first servitor of Lord Jagannath, said.