Ratha Yatra: Touching of deities stirs row


Puri: Even though the Lord Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) has warned of criminal proceedings against touching of the deities, it was alleged that a security cordon was broken by a group and some devotees touched Devi Subhadra during the Pahandi on Sunday.

A row started after Devi Subhadra’s Badagrahi servitor Ramachandra Dasmohapatra alleged that devotees touched the goddess at the Kirtan Chakada of Lord Balabhadra.

However, another group of servitors claimed there is nothing wrong in touching the trinity.

The group led by Daitapati Jagannath Swain Mohapatra and Ramkrushna Dasmohapatra asserted, “There is no harm in touching the deities.”

The servitors also took a stand against Puri Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb, who has opined for a complete ban on touching of the deities in or outside the temple.

Refuting the allegation of touching Devi Subhadra, SJTA Chief Administrator Pradeep Jena said there have been no irregularities on the day.

“Nobody touched deities during the Pahandi. If somebody has touched them, the CCTV footages will be scrutinised and strict action will be taken against those responsible.”


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