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Fake RT-PCR reports to enter Puri Jagannath Temple: 12 held

The 12th Century shrine was reopened on August 23 and carrying negative RT-PCR certificates or vaccination certificates is mandatory for entering.

Police on Friday arrested 12 people for allegedly preparing and carrying fake RT-PCR certificates to enter the Jagannath temple.

The 12th Century shrine was reopened on August 23 and carrying negative RT-PCR certificates or vaccination certificates is mandatory for entering.

Of the 12 arrested, four are devotees – two from Madhya Pradesh, one from Chhattisgarh and one from Angul district of Odisha – police said, adding that all of them were carrying fake certificates. The eight others arrested were involved in issuing the fake certificates.

“After intercepting the suspected persons, we contacted the hospitals mentioned in the certificates to verify. The involvement of the hospitals is still under investigation,” Puri Superintendent of Police, Kanwar Vishal Singh, said. The negative reports were being issued at rates ranging from Rs 500-700 depending on urgency, he said. The police have also seized a computer and other items, while searches are ongoing.

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