Decision on Reopening of Religious Institutions Soon: Pratap Jena

Law Minister Pratap Jena says a decision will be taken soon on the reopening of religious institutions. This comes soon after the Orissa High Court authorized the state government to decide on the same.

“After the department will assess the COVID-19 situation across the state, we will take a decision on the opening of religious institutions and issue fresh guidelines to be followed in these places after the opening,” said the minister.

Notably, a devotee from Puri had filed a Public Interest Litigation demanding the opening of religious institutions. To this, the Supreme Court, as well as the High Court, said that the state government alone has the authority to take the final decision.

This is not the first time that an appeal has been made in the state to reopen places of worship. In fact, the state government caved in to similar demands to conduct the Rath Yatra last month. After facing opposition from many stakeholders, the annual yatra of Lord Jagannath was allowed to be conducted in a restricted manner.

It will be interesting to see the verdict of the state government in terms of reopening of religious institutions as the state battles to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Notably, the state saw the deadliest day as 16 new COVID-related deaths were reported. The number of active COVID cases is now at 15,334 while 31,784 patients have recovered.