The 137th Jagannath Rath Yatra faced a few skirmishes on Sunday with a total of 32 persons being injured at various places in the city. The Rath Yatra however passed peacefully on its route and reached the Jagannath Temple in Jamalpur late in the evening.
The first incident took place at Sarapur when the three main chariots reached the spot for an hour’s break before leaving for the temple where they start from. According to police, when the crowd gathered in huge numbers near the chariots, iron barricades near the spot were broken and several people fell down and some reportedly fainted due to the crowd. Ten of these persons were shifted to Shardaben hospital.
The Rath Yatra on its return was to reach Delhi Chakla as per its planned route. The second skirmish took place when ten trucks that participated in the event took a wrong turn near Rentiyawadi and reached Relief Road instead of Gheekantha. Devotees waiting at the old route were furious and locals stopped the trucks at the new route creating a ruckus. \Police said the trucks were misled by a cop who allegedly allowed them to pass from Kahnpur and the trucks landed up at Relief Road. Police resorted to mild lathi charge to scare away the crowd that had gathered.
Deputy SP JD Vaghela who was present at the spot said, “10 truck drivers thought they would look for a shorter way and took a wrong turn from Rentiyawadi. They were stopped when the crowd gathered and put them back on the old route.” 18 companies of the para military forces and over 18,000 police officials were deployed at the 18 kilometre long route of the Rath Yatra.