Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, May 17:
Commissionerate Police had a tough time late Saturday evening as women devotees squatted on the road preventing movement of the sagadi (cart) carrying the daru of Lord Jagannath at Bhanpur on the Cuttack-Bhubaneswar stretch of National Highway No. 5.
The sagadi, which reached Bhanpur at around 11.20 PM, was detained for about an hour by women who demanded halting of the sagadi there for the night as was done in the case of Lord Balabhadra’s daru sagadi.
As coaxing by senior officials of the police failed to convince the squatting women devotees to vacate the road block, police had to resort to a mild charge with the baton at around 12.20 AM today to free the road for the sagadi to move towards Pratapnagari where it rested for the night.
Since the itinerary had Bhakuleigada of Pratapnagari as the place of night halt for the sagadi, the Banajaga Yatris accompanying the daru did not agree to the demand of the women devotees.
Earlier too, women devotees had detained the daru sagadi of Devi Subhadra at Bhanpur by blocking the road demanding its night halt there, as a result of which the sagadi was detained there for about three hours.
Wiser after the exeperience, Daitapatis and the policemen accompanying them managed to get the sagadi going in an hour’s time on this occasion. Braving rain and thunderstorm, devotees and Banajaga team pulled the sagadi up to Pratapnagari on the National Highway 5.
Devotees from far-off places are making a beeline to have a darshan of Lord Jagannath’s daru with queues stretching as far as three and a half kilometers.
The sagadi of Lord Jagannath would leave for Puri via Bhubaneswar in the evening today, said sources.