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Chattisa Nijog urge Govt to approach SC to reconsider ruling on Rath Yatra

Puri: Upset over cancellation of Rath Yatra by Supreme Court in view of Covid-19 pandemic, Chattisa Nijog, the apex body of priests of Jagannath temple, has urged Odisha government to approach the apex court again requesting to reconsider its ruling.
In a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the servitors’ body said the ‘Order of the Supreme Court is bad for several reasons. It seems that the Supreme Court was not properly apprised of the preparations made by temple administration and Odisha government.’
The servitors’ body requested the state government to apprise the top court that adequate preparations were already in place for the conduct of a scaled-down Rath Yatra.
“The chariot construction activities were carried out in protected environment after subjecting carpenters and servitors to Covid-19 tests. The administration has been working tirelessly to ensure all that rituals are conducted in compliance to health norms issued by the authorities in view of the pandemic,” Chhattisa Nijog said in a statement.
The Nijog further stated that if Rath Yatra is not conducted, all the future rituals, offerings and festivals will be adversely affected and it might evoke the wrath of Lord Jagannath.
Rath Yatra has been conducted under all circumstances since time immortal (including the past pandemic) and the tradition has never been hindered when the deities are inside the shrine, with the only exception during the Islamic invasion on the temple when Lord Jagannath Himself had to be rescued to a different location.
The servitors’ body requested the state government to approach Supreme Court immediately to modify its order dated June 18 to allow conduct of Rath Yatra by imposing strict curfew in Puri city and ensuring absolute non-congregation of people.
In a related development, Sri Jagannath Sena has called for a dawn to dusk bandh in Puri from 6 am to 6 pm today protesting staying of Rath Yatra by the Supreme Court.
While other activities are being permitted by the State government in the times of COVID-19 crisis, why decision was taken to stall the Rath Yatra, the outfit questioned.
“We have urged the residents of Srikhetra to observe peaceful bandh in protest against the intervention of the court in the religious matter and conspiracy of the state government,” said convenor of Sri Jagannath Sena, Priyadarshan Patnaik.
Speaking on the issue, Puri Sahankaracharya has said, “The temple managing committee will hold a discussion with me today. We will analyse the Supreme Court ruling and decide what rituals can be done inside the temple.”

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