In the interest of public health and safety of citizens during the outbreak of COVID19, the Supreme Court of India stayed the annual Rath Yatra and other rituals this at Puri in Orissa, said Supreme Court of India (SC).
“We restrain the state from holding the Rath Yatra and associated activities. We direct that there shall be no Rath Yatra and associated activities this year”, the bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde ordered.
The SC bench also said, “Lord Jagannath won’t forgive us if we allow this year’s Rath Yatra, such huge gathering can’t take place during the pandemic.”
The yatra was scheduled to be held on June 23.
The order was passed in a plea by an NGO Odisha Vikas Parishad which had pointed out the public health risk involved if the annual event is allowed to take place.
The yatra involves pulling the chariot of Lord Jagannath as he comes out of his temple. This activity involves close contact between the people, which violates the social distancing norms.