Odisha Police has detained 10 people for allegedly violating Covid-19 norms during the Rath Yatra in Puri. Two among them are ISKCON devotees who were reportedly detained for watching the Rath Yatra from the balcony of a building. The two have been identified as Atul Krishna and Govind Krsna Das from Kurukshetra, Haryana.
They had reportedly shared videos of the event on social media platforms.
[VIDEO] Two ISKCON devotees among 10 persons detained by Puri Police for alleged violation of curfew orders imposed in the pilgrim town during Ratha Jatha celebrations.— OTV (@otvnews) July 16, 2021
Link: https://t.co/vo8HwwqBK8 pic.twitter.com/Sl5EOPYaWC
Radharamn Das, Vice President and Spokesperson of ISKCON in Kolkata, has said that he never imagined when devotees would be detained for watching the Rath Yatra from the balcony of their hotel room.
2 ISKCON Devotees among 10 detained by Puri Police for watching Rathayatra from a hotel room balcony.— Radharamn Das (@RadharamnDas) July 17, 2021
Had never thought that watching Rathayatra from a hotel room will become a punishable offense in India.https://t.co/dYz96sHdHX
As per reports, the Police registered criminal cases against 10, including the two, for reportedly entering the inner cordon of the three chariots. Apart from the them, the other eight have been identified as Somanath Sahu, Ranjan Kumar Patra, Subrat Panda, Bhabani Jena, Manoranjan Mishra, Rajdip Harichandan, Raghunath Saraf and Biswanath Sahu. The rest are residents of Puri.
“Police are scanning the CCTV, drone camera and the live telecast footage of the festival to identify the intruders. Strict action would be taken against the violators after their identification,” Puri DSP Janardan Padhi had said.
An Akshaya Patra building has also reportedly been sealed for allowing its devotees to watch the procession from the rooftop. Odisha Government had imposed numerous restrictions in view of Covid-19, including refusing permission for Rath Yatras in Temples across the state with the exception of Jagannath Temple.