Cuttack: A petition was filed with the Orissa High Court (HC) Monday seeking action against those who performed the ‘Snana Yatra’ rituals of the Srimandir deities ‘without maintaining social distance and wearing masks’ June 5.
In his petition, lawyer Dilip Kumar Ray has made state government, Home department secretary, secretary to Home Ministry and Srimandir authorities as parties to the case.
The petitioner has informed the HC that the state and the Union governments have made wearing of masks and maintaining social distance mandatory to fight novel coronavirus pandemic that has been spreading its tentacles throughout the globe.
However, the ‘Mudirasta’ and servitors did neither maintain social distance nor wear masks while performing ‘Snana Yatra’ rituals of the deities, in brazen violation of the prescribed norms.
“It was seen from the live telecast of ‘Snana Yatra’ rituals that neither the ‘Mudirasta’ nor the servitors wore masks or even adhere with the social distancing norms throughout the rituals. Nobody is above the law. Hence, the violators must either be penalised or face legal action,” the petitioner said.
The petitioner, however, praised Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb as the Puri king refrained from participating in the ‘Snana Yatra’ rituals in a bid to follow the coronavirus-induced restrictions.
He further said, “Like Snana Yatra, devotees won’t be allowed to participate in Rath Yatra as well as Bahuda Yatra. Hence, the Srimandir authorities and the state government should ensure that police personnel are not engaged in chariot pulling, all wear masks and maintain social distance through the rituals,” the petitioner urged the HC.