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Devotees touch deities during Ratha Yatra, temple admin dismisses report

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Puri: Amidst crowd and religious fervor on grand road in pilgrim town Puri on the auspicious occasion of Ratha Yatra, allegation of devotees touching the deities during Pahandi (procession) surfaced here today.

Badagrahi of Goddess Subhadra, Ramchandra Dasmohapatra alleged that devotees touched Lord Balabhadra while the idol was being escorted to Chariot in Pahandi.

However, the temple administration denied the allegations of devotees touching Lord Balabhadra.

“Nobody has touched Lord Balabhadra,” said Shree Jagannath Temple Administration chief administrator Pradip Jena.

Soon after the allegation surfaced, a group of servitors claimed that there was no harm in touching the deities.

The Daitapatis — Jagannath Swainmohapatra and Ramkrushna Dasmohapatra — challenged the temple administration over the ban order imposed on touching the deities by devotees during Pahandi or atop chariots during Rath Yatra.

They threatened to move Orissa High Court against such decision of temple administration.

Notably, the temple administration has banned touching the deities by devotees during Pahandi or atop chariots during Ratha Yatra.