Ahmedabad gears up for 140th Rath Yatra

Ahmedabad gears up for 140th Rath Yatra

Ahmedabad gears up for 140th Rath Yatra

The administration in Gujarat is all geared to host country’s second biggest Rath Yatra, next only to Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra, in Ahmedabad.

The 140th Rath Yatra in Ahmedabad would be taken out across the city on Sunday. The state has deployed over 20,000 policemen, five joint commissioners of police, 42 deputy commissioners of police, 101 assistant CPs, 298 police inspectors, paramilitary personnel from CRPF, BSF and Rapid Action Force, as well as NSG commandos would be stationed throughout the route of the yatra.

The NSG commandos would keep an eye on the yatra attended by lakhs of devotees for the first time ever in its 140-year history. “Nearly 10,000 cops from the Ahmedabad city will be on standby during the annual procession,” AK Singh, commissioner of police, Ahmedabad, said.  

The entire route of Rath Yatra will also be under surveillance, with more than 300 CCTV cameras keeping a close watch on movements. UAVs or drones would also be deployed for aerial surveillance, even as camera fitted to police vehicles, would move along with the procession.

The security is the key aspect during the yatra as in the distant past, minor incidents have led to a communal conflagration in the city. Once, there was even firing at the idols of Lord Jagannath and his kin.

‘‘I am satisfied with the security arrangements and hope to ensure peaceful Rath Yatra this year,’’ Pradeepsinh Jadeja, Minister of State for Home, Gujarat, said.

The Rath Yatra in Ahmedabad stretches for over a kilometer and moves along the 15-km route through the old walled city from early morning to late in the evening. The main feature, like in Puri, includes procession of chariots of Lord Jagannath, his brother Balbhadra and sister Shubhadhra. The procession is generally taken out every year on Asadhi Bij, the second day of the month of Ashadh as per the Hindu calendar.

This year, the procession would also be joined by 18 elephants, 101 trucks, seven cars, members of 30`akhadas' and 18 bhajan mandlis (Bhajan groups).

Other than main Rath Yatra in Ahmedabad, similar yatras would be taken out across the state by several other organisations.