Thousands visited temple before `Rath Yatra`

A day before Lord Jagannath's colourful 'rath Yatra', thousands of devotees today had their 'darshan' of the deities amidst tight security as the doors of the 12th century shrine were opened for public after a gap of 14 days.

The devotees were denied 'Darshan' of the deities as Lord Jagannath, elder brother Balabhadra and their sister Subhadra were in "sick bed". A large number of men, women and elder persons stood on queues for hours together for getting 'darshan' of the deities.

The local administration expects a gathering of nearly 10 lakh people tomorrow, DGP Amarananda Pattnayak said.

More than two lakh people had their 'darshan' of the lords today as final touches were being given to the three chariots, police said.

The police had deployed as many as 64 platoons of armed forces besides two company of rapid action force (RAF), quick action team, bomb disposal squads and sniffer dogs.

"The police have taken special precaution to face any situation including possible violence by the red radicals," the DGP said adding that the security personnel were directed to check all the vehicles entering into the holy town.

Close circuit cameras had been fitted at sensitive locations along the grand road spreading nearly 3 km in front of the temple.

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