Idol of Lord Balabhadra falls on servitors during Rath Yatra ritual in Puri, nine injured

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Bhubaneswar, Jul 9 (PTI) 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, an official said.

Of the nine, five were admitted to a hospital while four others suffered minor injuries, Puri Collector Siddharth Shankar Swain said.

The mishap 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 'Pahandi' ritual. It appears that those who were carrying the idol lost control of it.

Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi expressed concern about the incident and directed Law Minister Prithiviraj Harichandan to visit Puri immediately and take appropriate steps.

The Puri Jagannath temple is under the state government's law department.

The chief minister wished for speedy recovery of the injured servitors.

The ritual of the sibling deities - Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra - resumed soon after the mishap and all the idols were taken inside the Gundicha temple.

They will remain in the Gundicha Temple till ‘Bahuda Jatra' or the return car festival on July 15. PTI BBM BBM NN