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No Rath Jatra 2020


 The Supreme Court of India on Thursday stayed the Annual Rath Jatra In Holy City of Puri in Odisha.

The Apex Court has also stayed all associated activities at the Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri in the wake of the Novel Corona Virus Pandemic(COVID-19).
The Annual Rath Jatra was scheduled to be held on 23 June and accordingly Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) has made all preparations.
The Apex Court passed the Order with the plea of a NGO, Odisha Vikas Parishad , which had pointed out the public health risk involved if the Annual Sojourn of Trinity is allowed to take place.
The Car Festival involves pulling the chariots of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra as they move out out of the temple in this Annual Event. 
The pulling of chariots involves close contact between the people, which violates the social distancing norms.
“In the interest of public health and safety of citizens, we restrain the state from holding the Rath Jatra and associated activities. We direct that there shall be no Rath Jatra and associated activities this year”, the bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde ordered.
“Lord Jagannath won’t forgive us if we allow it”, CJI Remarked.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta requested the Apex Court not to impose a blanket ban and instead allow some leeway by permitting rituals without gathering of public.
At least 12 temples in Balasore district, six in Mayurbhanj, five in Sambalpur, two each in Kandhamal, Bolangir and Gajapati had earlier announced not to hold the Rath Jatra outside the temple premises.“In wake of the pandemic situation, it has been decided to conduct all the Rath Jatra rituals including the Lord’s return car festival, inside the temple premises going by the Government guidelines,” a statement issued by the Managing Committee of Shri Haribaladev Jew Temple, Baripada said in a statement.
All the temples, including the Shree Jagannath temple in Puri, are closed across the state for devotees since 22 March in view of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Devotees were hoping that Rath Jatra will be organized on 23 June, however with Apex Court Verdict, their hopes are shattered.
 


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