Puri, June 20: Puri Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb has written a letter to the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik requesting him to reconsider the sensitive issue of stopping Rath Yatra in Puri and direct State govt to approach Supreme Court for partial modification of order so as to permit performance of Rath Yatra only at Puri.
The apex court on Thursday has stayed the annual Rath Yatra in view of Covid-19 pandemic
“In the course of Odisha’s long history, Ratha Yatra has not been held only when conduct of the Yatra has become impossible, as for instance, during attacks by Mughal forces during the 16th, 18thcenturies, when the Lords had to be hidden in remote places. The Yatra, however, has not been stopped for any other reason whatsoever and has been faithfully performed even in the midst of the worst natural disasters and epidemics. 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 30th May 2020, 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,” read the letter.
The Gajapati further said that the stopping of the festival will hurt the religious sentiments of countless devotees around the world. “In the interest of countless ‘ devotees around the world, I request you 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 Hon’ble Supreme Court for a partial modification of its aforesaid Order dated 18th June 2020 so as to permit performance of Ratha Yatra only at Puri — the Moola-peetha of Lord Jagannath,” added the letter.