Puri Rath Yatra Stares At Possible Cancellation

The Supreme Court, in its ruling today, has cast a shadow over this year’s Rath Yatra proceedings. Sharad Arvind Bobde, the Chief Justice of India, stated, “Lord Jagannath will not forgive us if we allowed the Rath Yatra” while hearing a petition seeking the cancellation of the Rath Yatra, which is scheduled to commence on June 23.

Referring to the advice given by health professionals, Bobde further stated, “Such gatherings can’t take place at the time of the pandemic. This stay has been implemented in the interest of public health and safety of citizens”. As per WHO guidelines, the risk of COVID-19 spread multiplies in a crowded environment.

Odisha Vikas Parishad, an NGO, in its petition said, the annual Rath Yatra would draw some 10 lakh people, which will be an invitation to infect devotees.

As the state government guidelines have also restricted religious activities till June 30, former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who is the representative of Odisha Vikas Parishad said, “Rath Yatra would violate the state government’s order.”

Earlier, representatives of various temples across the state had notified that they would not hold the Rath Yatra this year.

“In the wake of the pandemic situation, it has been decided to conduct all the Rath Jatra rituals including the Lord’s return car festival, inside the temple premises going by the government guidelines,” read a statement published by representatives of Shri Haribaladev Temple, Baripada

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