Bhubaneswar: The Singhadwara Police on Saturday arrested Kashinath Khuntia, one of the eight absconding servitors of Puri Jagannath temple accused on charges of misdemeanour to Puri Collector and involvement in scuffle with media persons during Niladri Bije ritual in July this year.
Sources said, Khuntia was nabbed by the police late on Friday night. He was detained at first and was arrested today in spite of High court interim protection till October 26 on grounds of delaying rituals during Niladri Bije.
District Collector Arvind Agarwal had protested against the daughter of Damodar Mahasuara touching the three deities seated on their chariots inspite of a no-touch ban during Niladri Bije. Following this some servitors raised an altercation with the collector.
Subsequently, the issue became grave as sevayats Kashinath and seven others named Damodar Mahasuara, Jayakrushna Mahasuara, Saina Khuntia, Bhimsen Palankadhari, Ipsit Pratihari, Rabi Dash and Bhagirathi Khuntia heckled with some media personnel protesting and halting the conduct of rituals and pahandi of Lord Sudarshan by some hours.
With police arresting nine others and booking these eight under various charges the accused fled apprehending arrest. Meanwhile, police failing to get any clue whatsoever on their whereabouts declared them absconders on July 27 and hung up their posters on August 13 asking them to depose or else see their assets confiscated.