Allow Maa Biraja’s Rath Yatra festival under Covid guidelines, HC tells govt

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October 9, 2020 10:21 AM

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq passed the order after hearing a PIL filed by the temple's Mukti Mandap Sevayat Parishad and others.

This year, the Rath Yatra has been scheduled to be held from October 17 to 24. (Image: Odishatourism.gov.in)

The Orissa High Court on Thursday directed the state government to allow the annual Rath Yatra festival organised by the Goddess Biraja Temple of Jajpur district under the prevailing guidelines of Covid-19.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq passed the order after hearing a PIL filed by the temple’s Mukti Mandap Sevayat Parishad and others.

On the occasion of the Durga Puja, the Parishad observes an annual ritual of Rath Yatra of the presiding deity of the temple for nine days.

This year, the Rath Yatra has been scheduled to be held from October 17 to 24.

In view of the prevailing pandemic situation and taking into account the rising trends of COVID-19 cases in Jajpur district, the local authorities had refused permission to the Parishad for taking out the Rath Yatra, which attracts a large number of devotees.

The Parishad then moved the high court stating that the Rath Yatra of Maa Biraja Temple is an age-old tradition of the presiding deity, which is continuing since time immemorial.

Moreover, the Biraja Peetha is considered to be an important centre of Shaktism in the country, the petition said.

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