The Jharkhand government on Thursday allowed limited entry of devotees inside the historic Baidyanath Temple at Deoghar and Basukinath Temple at Dumka,while adhering to social distancing norms and other safety protocols in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Baidyanath Temple was open to devotees for four hours from 6 am and the Basukinath Temple from 7 am till 11 am, officials said.
According to a state government notification, not more than 50 devotees can enter the Baidyanath Temple per hour,while in Basukinath Temple, a maximum of 40 people per hour are allowed inside, they said. Devotees were made to enter the temples only after ensuring social distancing norms were in place and all of them wore masks, Deoghar Deputy Commissioner Kamleshwar PrasadSingh said.
Singh said e-passes for Baidyanath Temple will be issued in the next two to three days and they will be restricted to only devotees hailing from Jharkhand. On July 21, the Supreme Court had told the Jharkhand government to consider reopening the Baidyanath Temple and Basukinath Temple for devotees.
"Virtual darshan is no darshan. Devotees could be allowed to participate on limited basis while ensuring social distancing norms. "The country is now reopening, then why religious places should remain shut. At least on important occasions Temples, Mosques, Churches and other religious places should be opened," a bench of Justices Arun Mishra, B R Gavai and Krishna Murari had observed.