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Jagannath Yatra begins amidst security
July 08, 2005 10:40 IST
The 128th annual Jagannath yatra-- comprising beautifully decorated chariots of Lord
Jagannath, Balbhadra and Subhadra pulled by over 1,000 devotees -- began at the break of the dawn on Friday amidst tight security.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders of the state including Home Minister Amit Shah and Law Minister Ashok Bhatt visited the temple premises in Jamalpur area and offered prayers before the yatra began.
The flower-decked chariots, which are second only to the `Jagannath Yatra at Puri, Orissa in fame and grandeur, are being accompanied by decorated trucks carrying devotees.
In all 30 akhadas, 18 bhajan mandalis and three Ras Garba teams also form part of the yatra procession.
Security has been stepped up for the yatra in wake of the terrorist attack at Ayodhya with about 15,000 personnel from city police and para-military forces, including the Border Security Forces and the Central Reserve Police Force, which have been posted along the 15 km traditional route of the yatra.
The yatra will wind its way through certain communally sensitive areas like Kalupur, Dilli Chakla, Shahpur and others in the walled city area before culminating back at the temple in the evening.
"About 67 companies of the State Reserve Police, nine companies of the BSF, five of CRPF, and other companies of Rapid Action Force, Border Wing Jawans and 6,000 police personnel of the city police are ensuring a fool-proof security for the yatra," Joint
Commissioner of police C P Thakur said.
Snipers and gunmen have also been deployed over roof-tops of houses located on the route of the yatra. `Police helpers' badges have also been given to about 3,500 residents of the sensitive areas and these would assist the police.