Puri Rath Yatra 2020: A Muslims boy has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking review of its June 18 order on Rath Yatra.
Jagannath Rath Yatra 2020: The Supreme Court on Monday admitted a battery of petitions seeking a review of its June 18 order annulling the famous Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra in Puri this year in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among as many as 21 persons and organisations who moved the top court urging it to recall its order that stayed the historic Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra in view of the Coronavirus situation include a Muslium boy from Odisha’s Nayagarh.
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The boy has been identified as Aftab Hossen. He is a final-year BA economics student at the Nayagarh Autonomous College in Odisha.
Aftab is now referred to as the second Salabega of the state for this noble move. Salabega was a Muslim man and a great devotee of Lord Jagannath.
The matter will now be heard by a three-judge bench headed by CJI SA Bobde. Earlier today, a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said that it will review the order after the Centre submitted that the Yatra can be allowed without any public participation. The Odisha government supported the Centre in the top court.
Aftab said he has been influenced by Lord Jagannath since his childhood. The 19-year-old said that his late grandfather Multab Khan was also a devotee of Lord Jagannath.
Aftab has filed an intervention application before the Supreme Court through his advocate PK Mohapatra.
According to Aftab, his grandfather had constructed a Trinath (Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar) temple at Itamati in 1960. He said that he has also read several books on Lord Jagannath and developed devotion towards the “Lord of the Universe”.
“I have not visited the temple as I am not allowed. I believe that I am a human being and there is one creator in the universe,” he said, adding that his father Imdad Hussain, mother Rashida Begum and younger brother Anmol have never opposed him worshipping the idol of Jagannath.
Speaking about the SC order, Aftab exuded confidence that the court will rule in favour of allowing the Yatra.
“The top court will allow holding the rath yatra once it gets to know the fact that the managing committee is in favour of conducting it on a limited scale in the absence of devotees in view of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Earlier on June 18, the SC had said that this year’s Rath Yatra cannot be allowed in the interest of public health and safety of citizens. The court said “Lord Jagannath won’t forgive us if we allow it”.
The Yatra was scheduled for June 23 at Puri. It is attended by lakhs of people from across the world.