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Hoards of people perform rituals during the annual Rath Yatra festival in Puri, Monday, 12 July

(Photo: PTI)

In Photos: Puri Rath Yatra Begins Sans Adherence to COVID Norms

Hoards of people can be seen, in photographs, making the yatra, with negligible adherence to COVID norms

2 min read

The 144th annual Rath Yatra began on Monday, 12 July, in Puri, Odisha. Like last year, this time too, devotees were not allowed at the yatra, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Odisha government on Thursday, 10 June, announced that devotees will be restricted from participating in the Rath Yatra, which will only be held in Puri with strict enforcement of COVID-19 protocols.

However, photographs that have emerged from the procession, paint a different picture, as hoards of people can be seen partaking in the yatra, with negligible adherence to COVID norms. Many can be spotted sans masks.

Annually, three deities are taken out in the chariot processions, that cover three km along the Grand Road connecting the Shri Jagannath Temple and Mausi Maa Temple.

The Supreme Court had, on 6 July, rejected petitions seeking permission to conduct the Rath Yatra at various places in Odisha apart from the Puri Jagannath temple where it had been already permitted, news agency PTI reported.

The Indian Medical Association had, reportedly, advised the government, as well, against celebrating any kind of festival amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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