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Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

In order to curb large congregation of devotees and contain transmission of coronavirus, the district administration of Cuttack has decided to impose prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC at the famous shrine of Lord Dhabaleswar on the occasion of Diwali on November 4. 

As per reports, the prohibitory orders will be in force on November 4 from 4 am to 10 pm restricting devotees/public from entering

shrine. However, priests and other sevayats will be allowed into the shrine.

The decision from the administration came in the wake of possible congregation of devotees and general public at the shrine on Diwali. 

Considering the current pandemic situation in the State, it can be said that large congregation may increase the COVID spread, the order read.

Further, it was noted in the order that on the occasion of Diwali, there is every possibility of apprehension of huge crowds and subsequent violation of protocol under COVID pandemic following which the District Administration has directed to clamp section 144 and ordered Police to promulgate the order at the mentioned area and keep a close watch over the situation.  

Meanwhile, the administration is also prepping up for observance of the forthcoming Bada Osha and Panchuka festivals at the shrine.  The much-awaited annual rituals of Panchuka will be observed from November 15 to 19 while Bada Osa is slated to be held on November 17 at the shrine. 

Earlier, Cuttack Collector Bhabani Shankar Chayani had informed the media that all rituals will be observed in the temple with strict adherence to Covid protocols. As thousands of people throng the shrine during the Panchuka every year, the guidelines will be prepared accordingly to minimise the chances of virus transmission.

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