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COVID-19: Gujarat High Court stays Jagannath Rath Yatra procession in Ahmedabad

File image.

File image.   | Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout

The yatra, scheduled for June 23, will not be held for the first time in the city since 1878

The Gujarat High Court stayed the annual Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra in an urgent hearing on Saturday evening. The yatra was scheduled to be conducted on June 23.

Also read: Supreme Court stays this year’s Puri Rath Yatra due to COVID-19 pandemic

The court held that given the COVID-19 pandemic in the city, the yatra should not be allowed to be held as it had the potential to spread the infection in the city as social distancing norms could not be ensured with a large crowd gathering for the procession.

With the court’s intervention, the Rath Yatra procession in Ahmedabad will not be held for the first time since 1878.

The Supreme Court on Thursday declined permission to hold the annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath in Odisha’s Puri citing concern for public health and safety amid the pandemic.

The division Bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice J.B. Pardiwala while hearing the plea relied on the Supreme Court’s judgment staying the annual celebrations in Puri Jagannath.

The Ahmedabad Rath Yatra is second largest after the one in Puri and more than one lakh people participate in the yatra which passes through walled city area from Jagannath temple in Jamalpur.

The areas where the yatra would pass through are COVID-19 hotspots with hundreds of deaths having taken place there.

Also read: Puri Shankaracharya wants review of Supreme Court order on Rath Yatra

The court also wondered why the authorities did not take any decision on granting or declining permission regarding the holding of the annual procession.

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Printable version | Jul 10, 2020 12:55:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/covid-19-gujarat-high-court-stays-jagannath-rath-yatra-procession-in-ahmedabad/article31881827.ece

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