Odisha Police on February 26 detained a German tourist for allegedly trying to barge into Puri’s Jagannath temple. Ruckus ensued at the temple premises after the 35 year old foreigner tried to enter the temple which is off-limits to non-Hindus. He allegedly assaulted a priest for stopping his way.
After a complaint was filed by the temple priest, the Police detained Jesus Engel Berger for interrogation, reports Times of India.
Berger tried to run inside the temple around 4.35 pm when he was stopped by priest Bamdeba Pujapanda near the Lion’s gate, Police said.
“When I stopped him and told him that non-Hindus cannot enter the shrine, he started arguing with me. He claimed himself to be a follower of international society for Krishna consciousness (Iskcon) and insisted me to allow him to enter the temple,” Times of India quoted the priest as saying.
However, he kept insisting and pushed me and attacked me with a stick, Pujapanda told the daily.
Though a non-Hindu’s entry into Jagannath temple is not a punishable offence, Berger might face the law for assaulting the priest.
Though a non-Hindu’s entry into Jagannath temple is not a punishable offence in Indian Penal Code, Berger might land in trouble for assaulting Pujapanda.
The incident happened after Berger was denied entry from three other gates earlier in the day.
However, Berger remains defiant. “I am a staunch follower of Lord Jagannath and visited several other Hindu temples in India. Why should I not be allowed entry inside Jagannath Temple,” Berger told Times of India.