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Devotees not allowed to ride chariots during Rath Yatra 2017

The Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) has reiterated that no one other than the servitors would be allowed to climb atop the three chariots of the Trinity. Devotees would not be allowed to touch the deities during ‘Pahandi’ ritual.

Devotees found masquerading as servitors and climbing onto the chariots or found touching the deities would be dealt with a heavy hand and prosecuted as per the law, said Pradip Jena, the temple chief administrator. Jena on Friday issued a fresh directive in this regard to all officers concerned, senior servitors and the police.

The Orissa High Court had in 2014 asked the temple administration to abide by Puri Shankaracharya’s opinion that devotees cannot climb the chariots and touch the deities.

Hoardings and banners on the High Court directive have been put up at important locations to create awareness among public. Meanwhile, elaborate preparations are on for Rath Yatra of the Trinity on Sunday.

DGP K B Singh, in the presence of senior officers, oversaw the security arrangements and conducted a mock drill of the security and traffic personnel for smooth conduct of the fete.

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