New Delhi, Jul 14 (ILNS) The Supreme Court today took suo motu cognisance and issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh Government for giving green signal to the ‘Kanwar Yatra’ from July 25, even as the cases of Novel Coronavirus showed an upswing in the state.
A Bench, headed by Justice Rohinton Nariman, sought response from the state government over it’s Wednesday’s decision and fixed the next date of hearing on July 16.
The Apex court took cognisance of a newspaper report on Wednesday morning, which said, “Amid fears of a possible third wave of Covid-19, the Uttarakhand government has suspended the Kanwar yatra even as neighbouring Uttar Pradesh is pressing ahead with the annual ritual that sees a heavy movement of pilgrims across states in the northern belt.”
The Uttar Pradesh government had yesterday said that the Kanwar Yatra could take place with COVID restrictions, while also suggesting to make negative RT-PCR test compulsory for the worshippers undertaking the journey.
While Uttar Pradesh gave a go-ahead to the annual pilgrimage that involves movement of thousands of Lord Shiva’s devotees, commonly known as ‘Kanwariyas’ from across the country, its neighbour Uttarakhand refused to permit the same, ‘giving top priority to the protection of human life’.
Amid the fears of an impending third wave of COVID-19 and the occurrence of Delta variant of Novel Coronavirus, the traditional Kanwar Yatra has been suspended, said Uttrakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Tuesday.
The traditional pilgrimage involves thousands of worshippers or kanwariyas trekking to the ghats of the river Ganga in Haridwar, Uttarakhand, filling their pitchers with holy water and offering it to Lord Shiva at a temple near their homes on Shivratri, usually in August, but on August 6 this year. The pilgrimage is largely taken up by the youth of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi and Uttarakhand. ILNS/SNG