Panaji: After several social media posts emerged suggesting four Hindu priests performed a ‘shuddhikaran’ or purification ceremony at Kala Academy, where late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s mortal remains had been kept, Goa’s Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude ordered an investigation into the same.

On the day of the funeral, Parrikar’s body was kept at Kala Academy for state honours.

In a Facebook post, Gaude had said, “I have taken a strong note of some activities carried out in the Academy premises as rituals today. I have ordered an inquiry into it. We cannot promote or patronise unscientific activities inside government buildings.”

The State Art and Culture Minister further said, “Kala Academy does not allow for such rituals. Further, no permissions or letters were sought before doing this. The academy or the ministry hasn’t issued a single penny for any such ceremony. I am hearing the word ‘shuddhikaran’ (purification) but I cannot comment yet. It could be Shanti Karan or ‘shuddhikaran’, but we need to first probe.”

Initial investigations revealed that three staffers wanted to do chanting of Om ceremony. “These were Brahmin men who are staffers in our academy. When I entered in the morning I saw these staffers performing a ritual. They asked me to participate without saying anything more than Om. I have asked the three staffers to explain it,” said member secretary of Kala Academy Gurudas Pilernekar.

Reports of ‘shuddhikaran’, went viral on social media in Goa, were first tweeted by a local resident. Thereafter, a video of the ceremony emerged.