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Huge footfalls in Puri on New Year; CM offers prayer

Puri: Lakhs of devotees including Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today descended on Puri to offer prayers to Lord Jagannath on the New Year day. As scheduled, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik arrived at the Jagannath temple during noon. He was escorted into the temple by Puri SP and Collector. After offering prayer to the Trinity, Naveen greeted the people on the new year.

“Best wishes to every one for a very happy new year”, he said.

Lakhs of devotees coming from across the country also took holy dip in Bay of Bengal and sought blessings of Lord Jagannath. Barricade system was put in place for smooth darshan of trinity.

Security arrangements were tightened and adequate police forces were deployed to avoid any untoward incident. “In view of large number of tourists’ congregation, 45 platoons of force, Puri SP along with two other SP rank officers, 10 additional SPs, 25 DSPs, 50 inspectors and 150 officers remained on duty entire day. I have only request to all the devotees that they should cooperate with the temple administration. Because, large number of devotees will have darshan of trinity in short time period”, IG Soumendra Priyadarshi said.

In view of the intelligence input regarding possible disturbances in the shrine on new year, the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) was on toes to ensure smooth rituals of deities. Chief Pradipta Mohapatra ruled out possibility of any untoward incidents at the 12th century shrine on the day. He said the conduct of rituals is underway in a smooth manner amid tight security. Devotees will be allowed for darshan till 11 pm and after that the ‘Pahada’ ritual will be conducted.

Similarly, lakh of tourists also visited the Konark Sun temple and flocked Chandrabhaga beach in the early hours today to witness the first sunrise of 2019.

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