Odisha HC gives nod to Biraja Ratha Jatra

Cuttack: The famous Ratha Jatra of Goddess Biraja in Jajpur district will be held this year amidst COVID-19 pandemic as Orissa High Court has given its nod for the age-old rituals.

Hearing two PILs today, the court has directed the Collector to make arrangements for holding of Ratha Jatra adhering to COVID-19 guidelines.

Last week, the High Court had sought response from the State Government on conduct of the 9-day-long Ratha Jatra scheduled from October 17.

Earlier, two PILs had been filed  by Mukti Mandapa Sevayat Parishad of Maa Biraja Temple and Jajpur district lawyers’ association in the court seeking permission for holding of the chariot festival of Goddess Biraja.

In a PIL, the servitors of the Biraja Temple Mukti Mandap had stated that Ratha Jatra of the Goddess is being held since time immemorial. Discontinuance of the religious observance will hurt religious sentiment of thousands of devotees.

Like the Puri Ratha Jatra, let the car festival of Goddess Biraja be held with strict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines, the servitors pleaded before the court.

Worth mentioning, the Ratha Jatra of Goddess Biraja is held during Dussehra every year. However, the State Government has not given permission for the festival owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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