Odisha govt decides to abide by Supreme Court order on Rath Yatra

Bhubaneswar:  Odisha cabinet on Thursday evening decided to abide by the order of Supreme Court on the annual Rath Yatra this year in view of COVID-19 pandemic.

An emergency meeting of the State cabinet was held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik this evening. Advocate General, working chairperson of Sri Jagannath Temple Administration Puri, Development Commissioner, Principal Secretary of Law department and chief administrator of Jagannath temple attended the meeting through video conference.

Earlier in the day, the apex court stayed the annual Rath Yatra and associated activities at the Jagannath Temple in Puri in the wake of the COVID-19 pademic.

The Rath Yatra was scheduled to be held on June 23.

“In the interest of public health and safety of citizens, 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 Court passed the order 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 in the holy city.

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