No decision on Rath Yatra yet, police ready

1 month ago 26
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By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
Updated: June 25, 2021 7:49:57 am

Puri: Chariots of Lord Balabhadra, Subhadra and Jagannath before a procession towards the Gundicha temple during the Rath Yatra festival, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, in Puri, Tuesday, June 23, 2020. (PTI Photo)(PTI23-06-2020_000044B)

Ahead of the scheduled Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra in Ahmedabad, deputy chief minister Nitin Patel on Thursday said the decision to take out the yatra will be taken depending on the pandemic situation.

Patel and state home minister Pradipsinh Jadeja visited the Lord Jagannath Temple in Jamalpur of old city Ahmedabad on Thursday morning on the occasion of Jal Yatra ceremony, which takes places ahead of the Rath Yatra.

Traditionally, Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra procession is conducted on Ashaadi Beej diwas of Gujarati calendar i.e July 12 this year. The year 2020 marked the first time in 143 years that the historic 143rd Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra procession was cancelled in Ahmedabad by a stay order from the Gujarat High Court during the first wave of pandemic. Post the order, a symbolic yatra was conducted within the temple premises by the temple trust last year.

On this occasion, Patel said, “Regarding the upcoming Rath Yatra, whatever decision will be taken as per Covid-19 guidelines, it will be then organised by the temple trust with the cooperation of the state government. Today Jal Yatra ceremony as per rituals was conducted keeping in mind the Covid-19 guidelines. The importance of this yatra is not just in Gujarat but across the country (sic).”

Ahmedabad Police officials said that they have made elaborate arrangements to provide security and organise the Rath Yatra, if it is held.

As per sources, a meeting was held between senior police officials in Ahmedabad on Wednesday regarding preparations for the event which is scheduled on July 12. The police are now waiting for the state government’s decision regarding allowing either the full fledged yatra consisting somewhere between 2-3 lakh devotees or a symbolic one to be taken out only by the priests.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Harshad Patel, deputy commissioner of police, Control Room, Ahmedabad Police said, “Whether Rath Yatra will be allowed or not, the Ahmedabad police is ready with its bandobast and action plan. The decision to take mock drills will be taken as per the government’s decision,” said Patel.

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