Vadodara (Baroda), India: Police heaved a sigh of relief after the Jagannath rath yatra concluded peacefully on Wednesday night at the ISKCON Temple. Having received intelligence input about a possible terror attack during the yatra, city police were on tenterhooks and had made stringent security measures on the entire route.
The yatra began at 3 pm from the railway station in Sayajigunj with a huge crowd of devotees chanting Hare Krishna Hare Ram'. The entire road was blocked for some time as people turned up in large numbers to offer prayers to Lord Jagannath.
The yatra passed from Sayajigunj, Raopura, Machhipith, Nyay Mandir, old city areas and market and concluded at ISKCON Temple at Gotri, finishing at 7.15 pm which was early compared to last year. "We didn't face any hassles on the entire route," said Praveen Sinha, joint police commissioner.
"Some miscreants did play foul by bursting a firecracker in the court premises in Nyay Mandir when the yatra was near Raopura. Also, a young girl fell in Sursagar lake, but was saved on time. Leaders of minority community too turned up in large numbers to welcome the yatra in the old city areas. The Jagannath yatra has never witnessed any problem in the past too," a police official said.
City police had deployed one company of Border Security Force (BSF), one company of Rapid Action Force (RAF), five companies of State Reserve Police (SRP) and 500 Home Guards along the 7 km route which was divided in seven sectors, each led by one assistant commissioner of police (ACP). The police had also identified 10 different areas as sensitive zones in the city and deployed additional force there.