PANAJI: For the peaceful conduct of the annual Navadurga temple jatra at Madkai without any interference, the North Goa District Court has directed that the festivities be held in police protection.
The Court had also directed the District Magistrate to appoint a Court receiver to keep an account and receipts till the Navdurga jatra Madkai is conducted.
The Navdurga jatra of Madkai has been surrounded by a dispute between the Mahajans and the locals for last few years. This year, the Jatra will be held from December 1-20. The Court in its order stated that it is necessary to grant police protection given the disputes between the two parties.
“In order to avoid any allegation so misappropriation of funds and other property which may be received as offerings, it is also appropriate to grant the prayer of directing defendant no.2 to act as Court Receiver through himself or duly designated official to receive all the offerings (cash and kind) by the devotees and inventory of the same be made by issuance of temple receipts. Accordingly this application is allowed,” the order states.
The underlying larger issue is over the ownership of the temple, with villagers claiming that the temple belongs to the people of Madkai. At the same time, the Mahajans consider themselves to be decision-making authorities with reference to issues related to temple management.
The High Court of Bombay at Goa had earlier quashed a lower court’s order of ‘status quo in a case relating to the replacement of the idol of Goddess Navdurga at Madkai temple.