Jagannath Rath Yatra 2020: Puri's world-famous Jagannath Rath Yatra will not take place for the first time in 284 years. The yatra takes place every year and lakhs of devotees throng to see the giant wooden chariots of the Lord Jagannath being dragged by people. Jagannath Rath Yatra had been going on continuously since its inception in 1737. This year, however, the Supreme Court stayed the yatra because of the coronavirus pandemic. As lakhs of devotees come for the Rath Yatra, it is feared that many of them will catch the deadly Covid-19 virus if permission is given to the Rath Yatra this year.
Devotees break down
Devotees are understandably heartbroken. As the news of Supreme Court stay on the Jagannath Rath Yatra spread, many devotees broke into tears. Many of them are even saying that Supreme Court should do a rethink. Political parties in the state however have been cautious in their remarks about the Supreme Court verdict.
Supreme Court verdict
Earlier, the Supreme Court stayed this year's Rath Yatra, which is attended by lakhs of people from across the world. The Court said, "Lord Jagannath won't forgive us if we allow" it.
A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices Dineesh Maheshwari and A S Bopanna said that in the interest of public health and safety of citizens, this year's Rath Yatra at Puri in Odisha can't be allowed.
"Lord Jagannath won't forgive us if we allow this year's Rath Yatra to go on", CJI Bobde said, adding that as such a huge gathering can't take place during the pandemic.
(With PTI inputs)