Tight security for Jagannath yatra

More than 10 lakh devotees to take part

Festival is Here: Indian soldiers pull a chariot to position it in front of the Lord Jaganath temple on the eve of the annual chariot festival at Puri in Orissa on Tuesday. AP

More than 10 lakh devotees from within the state as well as from different parts of the country and abroad are expected to take part in the colourful annual religious event.

According to sources in the police headquarters, as many as 81 platoons of state armed police, the rapid action force (RAF) and other security personnel will be deployed in the coastal temple town on Wednesday. The entire top brass of the state police, headed by Director-General Manmohan Praharaj, will be present in the town.

Bomb disposal squads and sniffer dogs have already been placed into services. Besides, all the lodging and hotels in the town are being regularly searched. Close circuit cameras have been placed in the sensitive areas, including the “Bada Danda,” the grand road in front of the Puri temple where the chariots of the three deities, the Jagannath,
Balabhadra and Subhadra, will be pulled. All the entry points into the town have already been sealed and vehicles are being thoroughly checked.

Keeping in mind the sea route attack by the terrorists on Mumbai last year, the state government has requested the Indian Coast Guards to step up its vigil on the Puri coast.
As the entire coastal belt of the state is currently experiencing an unprecedented heat wave, extra arrangements have been made by the state health department to treat sunstroke victims. “Adequate number of ambulances will be placed into service to take the sunstroke victims for treatment. Some ambulances will also be deployed on the national highway connecting Bhubaneswar and Puri,” state health minister Prasana Acharya said.

The East Coast Railways will run 66 special trains on Wednesday to carry devotees from different parts of the state as well as from neighbouring states to Puri.

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