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"No one should do anything...": Union Minister amid outcry over influencer Kamiya Jani's visit to Jagannath temple

Bhubaneswar: Weighing in on a viral video of popular social media influencer and YouTuber Kamiya Jani speaking to BJD leader VK Pandian at Puri's iconic Jagannath Temple, evoking an outcry from the BJP which accused her of promoting 'beef', Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday said one should refrain from acts that hurts the sentiments of devotees.
The BJP's Odisha unit on Friday called for the arrest of the widely followed travel and food blogger, questioning how a leader of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) facilitated access of the 'beef promoter' to the revered shrine.
Speaking to media persons on Saturday, the Union minister, who is a native of Odisha, said, "Mahaprabhu Shri Jagannath holds great significance for the followers of Sanatan Dharma and all fellow Odiyas. No one should do anything that hurts the sentiments of Lord Jagannath's devotees. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, no one should play with the sentiments of the Odiyas and the followers of our revered deity."
Adding to the chorus for the influencer's arrest, Jatin Mohanty, the general secretary of the BJP in Odisha, said she should be put behind bars under IPC Section 295 for 'hurting' the religious sentiments of Hindus.
"It has come to light that BJD leader VK Pandian along with YouTuber Kamiya Jani made a video on tasting of 'Mahaprasad' at Puri's Jagannath temple. The same Kamiya Jani had earlier posted a video consuming beef. Beef-eaters are strictly not allowed inside Jagannath temple," the BJP leader said.
"We demand that a case be registered against them under Section 295 of IPC for hurting religious sentiments. We will move court if she's not arrested," he warned.
Mohanty alleged further that her visit to the temple was filmed on a video camera, which is banned by the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA).
However, BJD MP Manas Mangaraj dismissed the allegations, claiming that the Union Minister was needlessly stoking a row over the incident.
"BJP government under PM Modi and Union HM Amit Shah have appointed Kamiya Jani to do films on Hindu heritage and temples. She has gone to Chardham and Ayodhya Ram Temple to see Ram Lalla too. And all of you love her for it and posted in your social media," Mangaraj posted from his official X handle on Saturday.
"Now Dharmendra Pradhan, please tell us what is your issue with her. Or it's simply intolerance to the huge work completion for Sri Mandir that you are unable to bear?" the BJP leader added in his post.
"Why are you making fake news and trying to insult people's intelligence? Why do you want to put down Odisha and the people of Odisha by your consistent lies and falsehood?" the BJD leader posted, hitting out at Pradhan.
"This is really shameful that you yourself liked and promoted posts on Hindu temples and now for Sri mandir, you have a problem," he posted, adding, "I have attached relevant posts for refreshing your kind memory bhai."
He also attached screenshots of some clips shared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Pradhan of their visits to the Jagannath temple.

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