Days After ‘No Rath Yatra This Year’ Order, Top Court Says Up To Odisha

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The Rath Yatra in Odisha’s Puri is attended by lakhs of people from across the world. (File)

New Delhi: A call on Puri’s famous rath yatra can be taken by the Odisha government, the Supreme Court said today after petitions asking it to recall its earlier order banning the hugely popular festival. The state will assess the situation and if need be, take steps to restrict festivities, the court said. The seven-day festival is slated to begin tomorrow.

Offering to impose curfew for a day to ensure that the virus does not spread, the Centre had said that it is a “matter of faith for crores” and a ritual “going on for centuries cannot be interfered with”.

“Only people tested negative (for coronavirus) and working in the Lord Jagannath temple can be part of the ritual… If Lord Jagannath will not come out tomorrow, he cannot come out for 12 years as per traditions,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who represented the Centre, had told the Supreme Court.



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