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Two die, several gets injured during Rath Yatra in Puri

Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased.

News Arena Network - Puri - UPDATED: July 8, 2024, 12:53 AM - 4 mins read

Devotee dies, several gets injured during Rath Yatra in Puri

Two die, several gets injured during Rath Yatra in Puri

Devotees assembly at the Jagannath Rath Yatra in Puri, Odisha, on Sunday.


Suffocation claimed one devotees life during the annual Rath Yatra in Odisha’s Puri on Sunday. He, reportedly, belonged from Bolangir, officials officials said on Monday.

 

Millions of devotees assembled to pull the chariot of Lord Balabhadra during the festival, which led to the situation.

 

The man, who went unconscious, was rushed to the Puri district headquarters hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead.

 

In another incident, a devotee allegedly died after coming under the wheels of a chariot during Rath Yatra in Jharsuguda district on Sunday, police said.

 

The mishap occurred during the pulling of the chariot of Jagannath temple at Kukujangha village in the district. The deceased has been identified as Shyam Sundar Kishan (45).

 

Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased.

 

Additionally, nearly 130 devotees were injured as a multitude of people gathered on the grand road moved in haste to take part in the grand procession.

 

The injured, too, were taken to the Puri district headquarters hospital, which state health minister Mukesh Mahaling visited to take stock of the situation.

 

“We are trying to ascertain the identity of the deceased. I have personally monitored the health infrastructure and directed the hospital authorities to be ready to ensure proper healthcare to the injured,” Mahaling told the media.

 

As part of the Rath Yatra (Gundicha Yatra), the idols are placed on three huge decorated chariots following the Pahandi ritual (ceremonial procession).

 

Millions of devotees pull the chariots for around 3 kilometres on the Bada Danda (Grand Road) of Puri town.

 

The idols are taken to the Gundicha Temple, considered the deities’ birthplace, where they stay till the Bahuda Yatra (returning car festival).

 

Lord Balabhadra’s chariot, Taladhwaja, traditionally leads the Rath Yatra while those of sibling deities — Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra — follow.

 

Before the chariots are pulled on the Rath Yatra, the scion of the erstwhile Puri royal family, who call themselves the first servitor of the Lords, performs a special ritual called “Chhera Panhara”, as part of which he sweeps the floor of the chariots with a golden broom.

 

The ritual is said to stress the dignity of labour, to show that no task is low or high in the eyes of the lord.

 

The three chariots will be pulled today again as the Gundicha yatra this year is a two-day affair after a gap of 53 years.

 

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