Online Puja App ‘Utsav’ Under Scrutiny: Police Investigate Allegations of Devotee Fraud

Puri: Singhadwar Police has contacted the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) to provide a detailed report on the alleged fraudulent activities of an online platform called Utsav.

The police are seeking information to investigate the matter and take appropriate action against the app if it is indeed found to be fake. Recently, the Jagannath Sena staged a protest in front of Gundicha temple and lodged a complaint with the police regarding the online platform’s deceptive practices.

According to the complaints, Utsav deceived devotees by collecting monthly donations for Srimandir (the temple) and offering online puja services. Many devotees fell victim to this scam, paying amounts ranging from Rs 4,500 for ‘Bhoga’ offerings on the chariot to Rs 2,401 for a special puja at Srimandir. Additionally, charges of Rs 2,151 for ‘Dhwaja Bandha’ and Rs 801 for ‘Nama and Gotra Sankalpa’ were imposed. The platform even charged Rs 11,501 for a non-existent ritual called ‘Atika Bandha’.

The fraudulent app is reportedly operating from West Bengal, and the police are diligently investigating to ensure justice for devotees and prevent future scams.

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