The Central government on Monday told that they would prefer to hold the Iconic Puri’s Rath Yatra without public participation this year due to the ongoing pandemic. Earlier the Supreme Court of India had ordered not to organize the Rath Yatra or any pilgrimage activities in Odisha as it could lead immense spread of Coronavirus in the state.
While appearing on behalf of the government the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said “It is a matter of faith for crores. If Lord Jagannath will not come out tomorrow, he cannot come out for 12 years as per traditions”. The Odisha government also supported the centre regarding the matter. The Centre suggested that the state government can impose curfew in Puri during the Rath Yatra days.
“All ‘sebayats’ and ‘pandas’ who have tested negative (for COVID-19) can participate in rituals as may be decided by HH Shri Shankaracharya. People may not congregate and seek blessings on TV during live telecast. Raja of Puri and the temple committee may supervise arrangements of these rituals,” Mehta told the bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra.
The Supreme Court will today hear all the petition seeking modification of the earlier order given by the court. However the priest have asked for a devotee less Rath Yatra this year so that the iconic event can be held this year.