Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court, in its judgement on Thursday, asked Akkana Madanna Mahakali Temple Authority to apply for fresh permission for the Ghatam procession of Bonalu festival. The court asked the Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad, to consider the application keeping in view the judgment of the Supreme Court regarding Jagannath Rath Yatra procession.

Hearing the petition filed by the Akkana Madana Mahakali Trust, the court considered the argument presented by the temple trust that they will follow the Supreme Court guidelines regarding the Jagannath Rath Yatra procession, if permission will be given by the authority.

The Telangana government, in the court, argued that the temple falls in a containment zone having a large number of Covid-19 cases and even though the petitioner claims that no procession would be undertaken, the mere fact of the passage of deity being placed on an elephant and being taken from the temple to River Moosi for immersion would make the devotees come out of their houses for having a glimpse of the deity and offer their oblations, which would result in conglomeration and may cause the spread of Covid-19.

The court, in its judgement, said: “The court is of the prima facie view that the concerns expressed by the respondent authorities for not allowing the Ghatam Uregimpu (procession), cannot be ruled out as  not genuine. However, having regard to the decision of the Supreme Court allowing the Jagannath Rath Yatra with the conditions imposed therein, it is open for the petitioner to approach the respective authorities empowered to accord permission for such procession by making an application afresh.”

Talking to NewsMeter, G. Niranjan, patron of the Mahakali temple said, “We have not yet decided but the state government deliberately avoided giving permission. They blocked the century-old tradition and it has hurt the religious sentiments of the people.”

Akkana Madanna Mahakali temple, in its petition, asked the court to consider the age-old tradition of Ghatam being carried from the Akkanna Madanna temple at Hari Bowli to Delhi Darwaza, by placing the processional deities on a decorated elephant for immersion in River Moosi on July 20.

NM

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