The 139th rath yatra of Lord Jagannath passed off peacefully here on Wednesday amidst traditional fanfare and devotion. Lakhs of devotees queued up on the roads to have glimpse of the God. Tight security measures were taken by the police and no untoward incident was reported.
The chariots of Lord Jagannath, his brother Balbhadra and sister Subhadra commenced their journey from the 400-year-old Jagannath temple in Jamalpur after Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel performed ‘Pahind Vidhi’ – a symbolic ritual of cleaning way for the ‘raths’ (chariots). BJP chief Amit Shah visited the temple at around 4 am and took part in the ‘Mangla Aarti’.
The procession of rath yatra comprises 18 decorated elephants, 101 trucks, around 30 religious congregations and around 20 singing troupes. The raths moved through some communally sensitive areas like Jamalpur, Kalupur, Shahpur and Dariyapur.
According to Joint Commissioner of Police, city crime branch, JK Bhatt, 18,000 security personnel, including policemen, state reserve police and central paramilitary forces, have been deployed at various locations along the route.
The entire route is being monitored by police through a network of CCTV cameras, connected with two control rooms, one in the city and another in Gandhinagar.
“As many as 700 CCTV cameras, including night vision cameras, have been installed at various locations along route by the police to keep a close watch on each and every movement. We are also using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for surveillance,” Bhatt said.
Personnel manning the yatra include 9 IG and DIG level officers, 33 Superintendents of Police (SPs), 81 Deputy SPs, 250 Police Inspectors, 900 Police Sub Inspectors, 8,000 constables, 5,600 Homeguards and 1,500 recruits undergoing training.
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