In a significant development yesterday, a lower court in Puri had ordered the removal of the Samadhi of late Biju Patnaik on December 27. But, the issue came into light only after the some national English newspapers discovered the judgement. The local Odia papers have been silent over the issue for mysterious reasons. Incidentally, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had paid floral tribute at Biju Samadhi on New Year day.
The judgement was delivered by Civil judge (junior division) Srimayee Acharya on on December 27, came on a petition filed by by Puri-based lawyer Ramesh Prasad Singh in 1999, who alleged that the Biju Samadhi was illegally constructed by the Puri Municipality.
The petitioner, while paying full respect to late Biju Patnaik, argued that since Swargadwar is a crematorium where bodies of all Hindus are cremated, it would be completely illegal and irrelevant to erect a memorial for an individual there.
The mortal remains of Biju Patnaik were consigned to the flames at Swargadwar on July 17, 1997. The Puri Municipality constructed the Samadhi of 40ftx40ft in 1999. Puri MLA Maheswar Mohanty was behind the move. He reacted to the judgement, saying several other memorials are also located at Swargadwar. Puri collector Arabind Agarwal will have a tough task in hand to implement the court order, which may fall into further legal tangle.
Renowned Senior Journalist Subhas Chandra Pattanayak of OrissaMatters.com, had raised this issue on 15th December 2011 on his news portal. His efforts were appreciated by many even though the local media always remained silent on this issue.