Plea in SC to allow Rath Yatra in Odisha’s Puri only

Bhubaneswar, June 19 (IANS) A day after the Supreme Court no to the Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra, a petition was filed in the apex court on Friday to partial modification to the order to allow the religious event in Puri only amid a complete shutdown in the pilgrim town.

The apex court had on Thursday stayed the annual Rath Yatra across Odisha, which was scheduled to begin on June 23, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pranay Mohapatra, lawyer for petitioner Aftab Hossen, said that the modification plea was to urge the court to allow conduct of the Rath Yatra only in Puri by the temple servitors and without the participation of devotees.

Mohapatra said the petition will be listed for hearing on Monday.

Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati on Friday urged the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision and allow the servitors to hold the festival with suitable precautions.

He said the apex court can allow the deities to get aboard the chariots.

Public congregation could be banned and the chariot festival could be organised with a limited number of servitors, he added.

“The devotees can witness the rituals on television,” the Puri Shankaracharya said.

The Shankaracharya of Govardhan Peeth in Puri is the religious head and his views on religious issues/disputes are accepted in the 12th-century shrine.

–IANS

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