Bhubaneswar, March 22: An International Society for Krishna Consciousness devotee was caught by priests of Jagannath temple at Puri on Saturday for selling booklets of Srila Prabhupada, the founder of Iskcon, inside the temple premises.
The temple officials also confiscated some books from him. The devotee has been identified as Krushna Das from West Bengal.
"Sale of objects in an unauthorized manner is prohibited inside the Jagannath temple. Only those shopkeepers, who are given license to sell their products, can do business inside the shrine," said temple public relations officer Laxmidhar Pujapanda.
Though the temple authorities are yet to decide on the nature of punishment for the Iskcon devotee, the priests have demanded stringent action against him. "Mr. Das has violated the temple rules. We might hand him over to the police. Else, we will impose fine on him," said Mr. Binod Bihari Mishra, a temple administrator.
The incident has come at a time when the Jagannath temple priests are miffed at the Iskcon devotees’ untimely celebration of the car festival at different places of the country. The priests have been demanding to ban entry of Iskcon devotees into the shrine.
"Nobody is allowed to preach other religions except Jagannath culture inside the temple. The Iskcon devotee’s case should be taken seriously as he tried to circulate literature of his organization in the temple," said Harekrushna Mahasuara, president of the Sevayat Samiti of the temple.