Puri (Odisha) [India], June 21 (ANI): Dibyasingha Deb, Chairman of Shree Jagannatha Temple Managing Committee, Puri has written to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, requesting him to take appropriate steps ensuring that state government immediately approaches the Supreme Court for partial modification of its June 18 order so as to allow Ratha Yatra in Puri.
"I request you to re-consider this sensitive issue of stopping Ratha Yatra in Puri and to direct appropriate steps to be immediately taken by the state government for approaching Supreme Court for a partial modification of its aforesaid order dated June 18 so as to permit performance of Ratha Yatra only at Puri - the Moola-peetha of Lord Jagannath," Deb wrote.
He added, "The present grave crisis caused by COVID pandemic, it is respectfully submitted, is not a situation which renders impossible conduct of Ratha Yatra in Puri since, as suggested by the Temple Managing Committee at its meeting of May 30, the Yatra in Puri can be held without any congregation of general public and with the State government taking appropriate steps to prevent spread of COVID."
He stated that if Ratha Yatra is not held this year in Puri, it will "hurt the religious sentiments of countless devotees around the world who watch the sacred Yatra live every year on electronic media."
The Supreme Court had on Thursday stayed the Ratha Yatra in Odisha's Puri and all activities related to the gathering in view of the coronavirus pandemic this year.
A three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde said that such gatherings cannot take place at the time of the pandemic.
"Lord Jagannath will forgive us if we stay the Rath Yatra this year... In the interest of public health and safety of citizens, Rath Yatra can't be allowed this year," the apex court remarked.
The top court was hearing a plea filed by an NGO named Odisha Vikas Parishad seeking a stay on the Ratha Yatra to prevent the spread of coronavirus, in view of which the country is under lockdown for the past few months. (ANI)