Fall of Lord Balabhadra idol: Patnaik urges Odisha CM to take action

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Bhubaneswar, Jul 11 (PTI) BJD supremo and Leader of Opposition in the Odisha Assembly Naveen Patnaik on Thursday wrote to Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi, urging him to take action against those responsible for the fall of the Lord Balabhadra idol during the Rath Yatra festival.

Patnaik, the former chief minister, said the incident has "deeply hurt the sentiments of devotees all over the world".

Describing Lord Jagannath as the symbol of Odia ‘Asmita’ (pride) and the identity of the people of Odisha, Patnaik said the incident that occurred during the ‘Pahandi’ of Lord Balabhadra was unprecedented and had never happened in the tradition of Rath Yatra.

The former chief minister said he could not believe his eyes that such a mishap could happen.

At least nine servitors of the Puri Jagannath temple were injured on Tuesday when the idol of Lord Balabhadra fell on them while it was being taken out from the chariot to a temple as part of the Rath Yatra festival, The incident happened when the heavy wooden idol was being brought down from Lord Balabhadra’s chariot to be taken to the Gundicha temple.

This is known as the ‘Pahandi’ ritual.

It appears that those who were carrying the idol lost control of it.

"The way some members of the Odisha Cabinet made comments about such a sensitive subject has doubled the grief of Jagannatha lovers. The incident has deeply hurt the feelings of all the devotees of the Lord. Such an insensitive approach of the government could not assuage the wounded feelings of Jagannatha Devotees," Patnaik said.

He requested the chief minister to personally intervene in the matter and take necessary steps to ensure that such an incident does not occur in the future.

Senior BJP leader and Cuttack MP Bhartruhari Mahtab questioned the presence of a large number of people on the chariot at the time of the ritual.

The MP demanded action against those who were at fault.

Meanwhile, a complaint has been filed by some advocates in the Capital Police Station in Bhubaneswar, demanding action against Jagannath temple chief administrator V V Yadav.

They alleged that the chief temple administrator was not present there during the ‘Pahandi’ ritual. PTI BBM BDC