“Lord Jagannath Won’t Forgive Us”: Supreme Court Stays Puri’s Annual Rath Yatra Amid COVID-19
The Supreme Court has banned the annual Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Supreme Court while prohibiting the yatra said that Lord Jagannath 'will not forgive us' if the rath yatra is allowed. An organization called the Odisha Development Council had filed a petition in the Supreme Court to stop 10 lakh people from participating in the yatra.
This rath yatra was scheduled to begin from June 23, whose preparations were almost complete. After the decision of the Supreme Court, the temple administration is now busy in further preparations.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued that the Jagannath Yatra case is very sensitive and some religious activities should be allowed. But the Supreme Court rejected Tushar Mehta's argument and made it clear that there will be no religious activity related to Jagannath Yatra this year.
Chief Justice SA Bobde said that the word 'juggernaut' comes from Jagannath. "Just as a juggernaut cannot be stopped, similarly Lord Jagannath can not be stopped by this decision," CJI Bobde said. In Odisha, 4,512 people have been infected with COVID-19 so far. 14 patients have died and 3,047 patients have been cured.