SJTA to probe ‘Tahia’ tearing incident

Puri/Bhubaneswar: A probe will be launched to find out under what circumstances the ‘tahia’ of Lord Jagannath was torn off during Rath Yatra on Saturday, SJTA administrator (ritual) Pradeep Kumar Das said today.

“After the Rath Yatra gets over, the SJTA will examine the CCTV footage and will try to find out who has done it,” he said.

“Though servitors were told to remove the ‘tahia’ with care, a portion of it was found damaged. Therefore, we have decided to examine the CCTV footage,” Das said.

IG Central Soumendra Priyadarshi however tried to play down the incident saying that the incident simply reflects the eagerness of devotees to receive blessings of the deity. “However, we will take care to avoid recurrence of such incidents in future,” he said.

On Saturday, servitors, police and volunteers were seen tearing off the ‘Tahia’ while it was being dismounted from Lord Jagannath. Surprisingly few senior officials of the administration were present when the incident happened.

However, Lord Balabhadra’s ‘Tahia,’ was taken off under the supervision of Priyadarshi and handed over to the SJTA office.