Uttarakhand cancels Kanwar Yatra due COVID-19, UP allows it

Pushkar Singh Dhami, Chief Minister, said that they had discussed with the higher officials and with the officials of the neighboring states and had decided that they would not hold the Kanwar Yatra this time, as they found a variant of the COVID-19 in Gadarpur and they did not want to make Haridwar a center of COVID-19.

The Kanwar Yatra, which was scheduled to begin on July 25, has been suspended by Uttarakhand due to COVID-19. However, Uttar Pradesh is allowing the trek. The Kanwar Yatra involves an arduous trek participated by the devotees of Lord Shiva in the month of Shravan to take the water of the Ganga river and offer it to God.

It had been reported on Thursday, that the Haridwar Police had asked people to not arrive for the Kanwar Yatra in Uttarakhand.

The religious pilgrimage, which was to begin July 25 onwards, had been already suspended by the state government due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Police has mentioned in a notice that the entry and exit points of the Haridwar districts had been sealed and the permission to participate in the Kanwar Yatra has been denied as well.

The notice also mentioned that any person coming to Haridwar from other states would have to go undergo a 14-day institutional quarantine and it had been made mandatory.

The police notice also added that any vehicle of any person attempting to enter the district would be seized and an action would be taken under the Disaster Management Act.

On Tuesday, the Uttarakhand Government took the decision for the suspension of the Kanwar Yatra. The religious trek experiences lakhs of devotees who undertake it during the month of Shravan to take back the water of the river Ganga and offer it to Lord Shiva.

Pushkar Singh Dhami, Chief Minister, said that they had discussed with the higher officials and with the officials of the neighbouring states and had decided that they would not hold the Kanwar Yatra this time, as they found a variant of the coronavirus in Gadarpur and they did not want to make Haridwar a centre of COVID-19.

Subodh Uniyal, the Uttarakhand Minister said on Wednesday that faith in religion did not mean that we could play with the lives. Uniyal, the State government’s official spokesman, said that the IMA had warned of a third wave and that the PM of India had also expressed concerns over the situation. Hence, the decision for the cancellation of Kanwar Yatra was taken in the large public interest.

However, Uttar Pradesh has said that they would allow the pilgrimage to go and earned a frown from the Supreme Court which took the suo moto cognisance of the issue and issued the notice to the UP government and the Centre. The top court had sought their response and also posted the matter for hearing on Friday.

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