The Vishwa Hindu Parishad”s (VHP) Central Secretary-General Milind Parande on Sunday demanded that appropriate steps be taken to ensure that the annual Rath Jatra festival of Lord Jagannath in Puri is celebrated observing all health protocols in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.
In a statement, he said the festival has been conducted uninterruptedly for hundreds of years and a way must be found out to hold the festival this year too.
The VHP leader requested the Supreme Court to review its stay order on holding of the Rath Jatra this year in view of the COVID-19 crisis, saying, in today”s circumstances, it is hardly expected that lakhs of devotees would gather for the festival.
Parande said it is the responsibility of the Odisha government to take steps to ensure that the Rath Jatra is not stopped.
The state government has completely failed in fulfilling its duty in this respect. The Government of Odisha could not properly place and articulate all the facts, figures and aspects in this matter before the Hon”ble Supreme Court, he said.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh chapter of the World Hindu Federation also urged the Supreme Court and the Union Government to take measures allowing the Ratha Jatra this year by maintaining social distance.