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Puri gears up for Jagannath Rath Yatra, devotees remain undeterred by threats


Jajati Karan,CNN-IBN
Jul 10, 2013 at 09:20am IST

Puri: Just days after serial blasts rocked Bodh Gaya, Puri is all set to host the grand chariot festival of lord Jagannath. Police tell CNN-IBN that they have received intelligence inputs of a possible attack but have got no actionable information so far. However, they aren't leaving anything to chance.

"After the Bodh Gaya incident we have warned our forces to be extra alert and have also requested the local community and shopkeepers to inform us if they see any suspicious person or objects," Puri SP Anup Sahoo said.

Security has been stepped up like never before. 6,000 security personnel have been deployed in and around Puri. Rapid Action Force, Anti Terrorists Squad officers have also been posted on the ground. Meanwhile, CCTV cameras have also been installed at strategic points. Every devotee entering the temple will be thoroughly frisked.

However the perceived security threat is not deterring the lakhs of devotees who have already arrived in Puri. For Bangalore based software engineers Mani and Sriram, this is a yearly family ritual. "There is threat to life anywhere...while you fly, when you are on road, these terror incidents cannot change our destiny with God, for s what is more important is the faith in God," Mani said.

The history of Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra is more than one thousand years old, and all these years what has not changed is its religious fervour, colourful rituals and unique tradition. Perhaps this is what makes the Rath Yatra so popular amongst its devotees, no matter how big the security threat perception might be.

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