Panaji: The Goa government has ordered an inquiry into reports that a 'purification ritual' was conducted on Saturday at the state-run Kala Academy here, where the body of former chief minister Manohar Parrikar was kept.
Art and Culture Minister Govind Gawade told PTI that he had ordered the inquiry after a section of the media reported that a purification ritual was carried out by some persons on the academy premises where Parrikar's mortal remains was kept on Monday before final rites.
"I have taken a strong note of these activities... We cannot promote or patronise unscientific activities in government buildings," Gawade said.
Parrikar, 63, died on Sunday after battling a pancreatic ailment for a year. He was cremated with full state honours Monday.
The inquiry was ordered with the circulation of photos showing four priests chanting and walking about in the area, where Parrikar's remains had been kept for a day on March 18, before his cremation.
Gurudas Pilernekar, member secretary of the state's premier Arts and Culture centre, told IANS that prima facie it appeared that the four Hindu priests had been called by an academy staffer for chanting of the 'Om' mantra.
He, however, did not explain why the Om mantra chanting exercise had been conducted.
"The minister has already ordered a probe into the incident, but prima facie it appears that what rites the four pandits had performed was not a purification ceremony, but chanting of the Om mantra," Pilernekar said.