Referring to last week’s Supreme Court decision asking the Odisha government to make necessary arrangements to conduct Rath Yatra in Puri in a restricted manner, a Warkari organisation from Pune on Monday moved the Bombay High Court seeking that 100 devotees be allowed to carry “paduka procession” for six kilometres towards the temple town of Pandharpur, a day before Ashadhi Ekadashi, which will be celebrated on Wednesday.
Warkari Seva Sangh, Pune, filed a writ petition through advocate Mihir Govilkar, seeking to walk with the padukas of Sant Dnyaneshwar from Wakhari to Pandharpur (nearly 6 km) on Tuesday in the presence of 100 devotees.
The plea also sought direction to the state to allow the devotees take a holy dip in river Chandrabhaga on July 1 on the occasion of Ashadhi Ekadashi and perform Nagar Pradakshina in Pandharpur city and other rituals by following Covid-19 protocols.
In view of pandemic, the authorities had decided that Wari (pilgrimage) would be held this year with the padukas of Sant Dnyaneshwar and Sant Tukaram being taken to Pandharpur on June 30 by road and not on foot as is the tradition.
Claiming that the “Palkhi procession has remained unbroken since it began irrespective of wars, famines and floods”, the petitioners said they will maintain physical distancing and follow other guidelines. Moreover, it said it can send a list of the participants with their details, including medical fitness certificates, to the authorities. The participants are willing to undergo Covid-19 tests, it added.
The court is likely to hear the plea on Tuesday.
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