The Supreme Court has allowed Puri's Rath Yatra, scheduled to start from tomorrow, saying it cannot micro-manage the rituals and left it to the wisdom of state, the Centre and temple management to deal with that issue. The apex court said Puri Rath Yatra will be held with coordination of Temple committee, State and Central Governments without compromising with health issue. It said, Odisha can even stop the yatra or festivities if they feel it is going out of hand.
The apex court had on June 18th said that in the interest of public health and safety of citizens, this year's Puri Rath Yatra cannot be allowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde was informed by the Odisha government that it will coordinate with temple management and the Centre to make things smooth during Rath Yatra.
The bench also comprising Justices Dinesh Maheswari and A S Bopanna was informed by the Centre that Rath Yatra can be conducted without compromising on citizen's health and with the co-operation of state and temple trust.
Reacting to the decision of the Supreme Court on holding Rath Yatra in Odisha, Home Minister Amit Shah said the entire nation is delighted by the decision. He said today is a special day for all, particularly for Odia sisters and brothers as well as devotees of Mahaprabhu Jagannath Ji.
The Apex court has asked the Odisha Government to take necessary precautions while strictly following the COVID-19 regulations. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has also expressed gratitude towards the union government for the support.
After the Apex court's decision in favour of Rath Yatra, the district administration has imposed a curfew in Puri for the yatra which will be conducted tomorrow. The public has been requested not to enter any part of the district during this period.
Only selective servitors and police officials will be allowed to pull the chariots of the holy siblings of Lords Jagannath, Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra in view of COVID19. Odisha Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy informed that Rath Yatra will be conducted smoothly without devotees and with strict adherence to the COVID-19 guidelines.” On the other hand, Chief Minister Naveen Pattanaik has directed the law minister, health minister and school and mass education minister to camp at Puri and supervise Ratha Yatra related activities.
Moreover, Home Minister Amit Shah held a discussion with Puri Gajapati Maharaj Dibyasingha Deb over the conduct of Rath Yatra. He inquired about the arrangements made for the festival Meanwhile, Pujapanda servitors today brought ‘Agyan Mala’ to the chariots on the Ratha Khala in Puri for their initiation and performed the Agyan Mala Bije rituals.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said it is gratifying to know of the order of the Supreme Court on the Rath Yatra in Puri. In a tweet, Ms Sitharaman said she is grateful for all the understanding on the issue and the efforts made by Home Minister Amit Shah guided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Odisha government. (AIR)