Acting tough on the violators of curfew restrictions imposed during Rath Jatra, the district administration of Puri has so far sealed three lodges along the Badadanda (grand road).
A team of officials on Friday sealed Srikhetra Lodge located at Balagandi Chhak for allegedly allowing devotees to witness Gundicha Jatra from rooftop in violation of the curfew restrictions.
“The district Collector had issued directive and we also made public announcement regarding restrictions on rooftop witnessing of Rath Jatra along Badadanda. However, we found that the lodge authorities have violated the order. About 7-8 people witnessed the Gundicha Jatra from the rooftop of the lodge. We got evidence of violation following which we sealed the lodging facility toady,” said Puri tehsildar Rabi Pradhan.
“Yesterday, we sealed a building of Akshaya Patra Foundation at Badadanda. Besides, Sagar Inn lodge was sealed. A day before, Ganga lodge had also been sealed for similar offences,” Pradhan added.
He said the drive is underway against the violators and stringent action will be taken against those who have not followed the curfew directive during the Rath Jatra.
Similarly, notices have been issued to 14 persons for violating SOP during Gundicha Jatra on July 12.
According to sources, Akshaya Patra Foundation had allegedly allowed some ISKCON devotees to witness Rath Jatra on the rooftop of the building which was banned by the administration.
"The foundation had accommodated devotees from outside Odisha in violation of prohibitory order passed by the administration during Gundicha Yatra. A team verified the video footage of the incident and found the allegations true. We are also verifying other allegations and take action accordingly,” Puri sub-collector Bhabataran Sahu had stated.