Puri Rath Yatra: Know What Odisha Govt Said In Its Affidavit Before SC
Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: The Odisha government told the Supreme Court on Monday that it will endeavour to make necessary arrangements if Rath Yatra is confined to Puri alone in a limited way without public attendance as proposed by Gajapati Maharaj Dibyasingha Deb.
In its affidavit, filed by Principal Resident Commissioner Sanjeeb Mishra on its behalf, the state government said the apprehension, as expressed by it on June 18, was primarily related to thousands of Rath Yatras taking place across Odisha. “Lakhs of people attend the Rath Yatras taking place in different parts of Odisha and happens in almost every gram panchayat,” it said.
It further added that more than 5 lakhs people of Odisha have returned back to the State since May and most of them are likely to complete their quarantine period by the end of June. “With the onset of monsoon, it is likely for the COVID-19 pandemic to peak in the State during June and July. The pandemic has killed lakhs of people across the globe and so far Odisha has handled the pandemic in an efficient manner with the lowest mortality rate in the country. Any congregation during the probable peaking period can lead to loss of lives and serious public health hazard,” it said.
However, if the Rath Yatra is confined to Puri alone in a limited way without public attendance as proposed by Gajapati Maharaj of Puri, Chairman of the Puri Jagannath
Temple administration, the State Government will endeavour to make necessary arrangements to conduct it accordingly, it added.
With the government at the Centre and the state supporting holding the annual sojourn of the sibling deities in Puri without public participation, the SC bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra agreed to hear modification applications against the June 18 order staying the event.