Despite restrictions, lapses crop up during Puri Rath Yatra

Puri: Despite restrictions and directives issued by the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), lapses were observed today during the annual Rath Yatra festival.

During the ceremonial ‘Pahandi’ procession of the deities some devotees touched the idol of Lord Jagannath after jumping the security cordon. The incident was reported when the ‘Charamala’ was being withdrawn from Lord Jagannath’s chariot Nandighosa which allowed devotees to get closer to the deity.

As per reports, visitors also touched Goddess Subhadra on the premises of Puri Srimandir.

“From a moral point of view, damaging the ‘Tahia’ is not right,” said a devotee.

Expressing similar views, another devotee stated sentiments of devotees are hurt due to such unruliness.

However, Daitapati Nijog’s president, Ramakrushna Dasmohapatra said “No one was allowed to damage the Tahia. After taking it off, it was offered to other deities.”

Earlier, SJTA chief administrator had stated that if anyone is found touching the idols, it would be treated as an offence. However, servitors assigned duties to perform rituals can climb the chariots and touch the deities.

Also Read: Rath Yatra 2018: Millions witness chariot pulling today

In another instance, servitors, police and volunteers were seen tearing off the ‘Tahia’ while it was being dismounted from Lord Jagannath. Surprisingly though, some senior officials of the administration were witnessing the act when it happened.

However, during the removal of Lord Balabhadra’s ‘Tahia,’ it was taken off intact under the supervision of Central range IG Soumendra Priyadarshi and handed over to the SJTA chief administrator.