Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal has ordered a probe against S. Pasupalak, current Vice-Chancellor of Orissa University of Agriculture Technology (OUAT), a premier agriculture university of eastern India, for his alleged involvement in a corruption case.Stating that the corruption issues raised in a petition appeared to be genuine and serious, the office of the Governor directed Chief Secretary A.P. Padhi to get the allegation probed by the vigilance department.Pradip Maharathy, Minister for Agriculture and Panchayati Raj and pro-chancellor of OUAT, had received two petitions that detailed alleged manipulation of records for personal benefit, erroneous advertisement for recruitment in Krishi Vigyan Kendras, manipulation of records and abuse of position for undue personal benefits. The same petitions were forwarded to the Governor’s office.“After going through the documents, the Governor has directed an in-depth inquiry by State vigilance department. The inquiry report may be submitted within six weeks for taking appropriate action in the matter,” the Governor’s office said.Allegation of corruption and manipulation is not new in the OUAT. Two former Vice-Chancellors of the university had also faced allegations of corruption.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh wrote to Odisha’s Naveen Patnaik on Saturday, urging him to retract his government’s decision to demolish the Mangu Mutt in Puri, which is associated with Sikhism founder Guru Nanak.Mr. Singh described as unfortunate the move to demolish the mutt, which has age-old significance for the Sikh community as Guru Nanak Dev visited the holy site to spread his message.‘Shocking decision’“It was shocking that while the whole world was getting ready to commemorate the 550th ‘Prakash Purb’ of the first Sikh Guru, the historically important mutt, a symbol of the connection between Sikhism and the Jagannath Temple, was sought to be demolished by the Odisha government,” said Mr. Singh in a statement.The Mutt is among many structures within 75-metre radius of the Jagannath Temple that are being demolished to ensure safety and security of the 12th century shrine, following a decision of the Odisha government led by Mr. Patnaik.Opposing the move, several organisations earlier said at least 12 major mutts and shrines associated with the Jagannath Temple are located within the 75-metre demolition radius.