Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sambit Patra and a dozen and a half other litigants have approached the Supreme Court (SC) seeking a modification in its 18 June order which stayed the annual Rath Yatra held in reverence of Lord Jagannath in Odisha's Puri, reports Hindustan Times.
The litigants have asked the SC to allow the organisation of the Rath Yatra without any congregation of the devotees. Emphasising the importance of the Rath Yatra to Odia people, Patra underscored that to the people of Odisha, it’s not just a festival but life. He mentioned, "Who are we without Rath Yatra?"
Taking to Twitter to share that he has filed an application for clarification/modification of the earlier order of the top court, Patra said, "I hope we would be blessed by Lord Jagannath tomorrow. I would go on fast on Monday and I would request everyone in Puri to go on fast tomorrow for victory in SC tomorrow."
The Yatra is scheduled to begin in some hours from now, on 23 June. The construction of three chariots for the Yartya is also almost completed with the Maharanas working overtime to finish the work in time despite the COVDI-19 pandemic.
The SC earlier on Thursday last week stayed the historic annual Rath Yatra at the Jagannath Temple in Odisha’s Puri and all other religious activities associated to it due to the coronavirus.
Hearing a petition filed by a non-government organisation (NGO) Odisha Vikas Parishad seeking a stay on the event, the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Justice S A Bobde-led bench said, “Lord Jagannath won't forgive us if we allow it.”
The bench noted that in the interest of public health and safety of citizens, the Rath Yatra festival cannot be allowed this year.
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