The Puri district administration Thursday sealed the building of an NGO along the Grand Road as some devotees were seen on the rooftop of the structure to witness the car festival of Lord Jagannath on July 12 in violation of the curfew imposed during Ratha Jatra. Puri sub-collector Bhabataran Sahu said on receiving a complaint on the presence of devotees from outside Odisha on the rooftop of the Akshaya Patra Foundation building during Ratha Jatra, an inquiry was ordered.
A CCTV footage was examined and the allegation was found to be true.
The annual festival was held without the participation of devotees for the second consecutive year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Legal action has also been taken against 10 people, including two persons from Haryana, who were present on the Grand Road during the Ratha Jatra, officials said.
The Puri police in a statement listed the 10 offenders for violating the curfew order.
“Based on the principle of zero tolerance, police has started initiating legal action against the few persons whose names have emerged as violators of curfew. Stern legal action will be taken after gathering sufficient evidence and following due legal procedures. The first list contains 10 names,” a senior police officer said.
Ratha Jatra is being celebrated amidst strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols and entry of outsiders to Puri was prohibited during the festival.
The district administration had imposed a 48-hour curfew to restrict the entry of people from outside the state during the Ratha Jatra.
The administration had on Wednesday sealed a lodge for having allowed people to have a rooftop view of the pulling of chariots on July 12.
(With PTI inputs)