20 to face action for breaching cordon during Rath Yatra July 12


PURI: With criminal proceedings having been initiated against 20 people, five more have been identified by Puri police who ventured into the prohibited area breaching the security cordon during the Srigundicha Yatra July 12.

City deputy superintendent of police (DSP) told newsmen that all the 20 were booked in the criminal case for violating the curfew norms. He said all of them were served notice to appear before the police to explain their presence inside the Rath cordon.

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Meanwhile, one Ranjan Patra appeared and claimed that he is a bona fide servitor and a pass was issued to him by the temple administration, the DSP said, adding his name has been deleted from the list.

This apart, CCTV footage, live TV coverage by I&PR department, and drone camera footage are being analysed by the police to find out unauthorised persons inside the security cordon around the three chariots on the Rath Yatra day.

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The lawyers of Puri Bar Association, social activists and devotees are peeved at the partisan attitude of police on initiating action against the intruders. They alleged that no action was taken by police against a mine owner from Dhenkanal, a contractor from Bhubaneswar and a music director from Cuttack who were present inside the prohibited area of Rath cordon.

Although these persons have been identified, the police are yet to prosecute them in the case.

This apart, many other unauthorised powerful persons who were also present have been identified by the people during the live telecast of the Car Festival proceedings.

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The residents have demanded a thorough probe into the issue and legal actions against those who facilitated their entry into cordon.

The Puri district administration had put the entire city under curfew for 48 hours and residents of houses along the Badadanda were asked not to go to the rooftop or balcony to watch the pulling of chariots.

The government had banned the entry of devotees into the 3 km-long Grand Road, the venue of the Car Festival July 12, 2021 and allowed only the servitors to pull the three chariots while strictly following Covid protocols.

However, the breach of security cordon was noticed during the Srigundicha Yatra, said sources.


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