Berhampur, Sept 15 (LocalWire): Gajapati district administration has cracked down on the Baliyatra, a traditional festival of the local people at Adava in Mohana block, organized by the yatra committee on Sunday where several hundreds of people participated violating the COVID-19 restrictions.
“Acting on a tip off, we raided the area and stopped the yatra.
We have also issued a show cause notice to one of the members imposing a fine to a tune of rupees one lakh, as per the COVID-19 regulation,” said Mohana Tehsildar Kalyani Sanghamitra Devi.
Baliyatra, one of the festivals of the village Goddess, is generally celebrated by the villagers every year in the Hindu lunar month of Sravana.
Due to the strict restrictions by the district administration, the villagers postponed the festival to the month of Aswina and celebrated it on Sunday.
Almost all the villagers participated in the yatra, where they worshipped the Goddess. Several folk dances were also staged during the period of the festival, sources said.
The yatra committee however did not take any permission from local Tehsildar for celebration of the festival and gathered a large number of people to celebrate it by violating the COVID-19 regulations, said tehsildar.
“At the time of our joint raids by the tehsil staff and the police, the festival was in its last phase.
They were preparing to immerse the sands in the huge procession.
We however stopped it and dispersed the gathering,” she added.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has strictly prohibited the gathering of more than seven persons in the religious function.