Why Kanwar Yatra during COVID-19? Supreme Court asks UP govt
New Delhi/IBNS: The Supreme Court on Wednesday questioned the Uttar Pradesh government's decision to allow Kanwar Yatra from the next week amid COVID-19, media reports said.
In this context, the top court has served a notice to the state government, Centre as well as the Uttarakhand government, which has cancelled the yatra in its territory.
A two-judge bench of Justices RF Nariman and BR Gavai said as quoted by NDTV, "We read something disturbing in The Indian Express today that Uttar Pradesh has chosen to continue with the Kanwar Yatra while Uttarakhand, with hindsight of experience, has said there will be no yatra."
"We wish to know the stand of the respective governments. The citizens of India are completely perplexed. They do not know what is going on. And all this as the PM, when asked about the third wave of Covid, said we cannot compromise even one bit."
The court had taken the matter suo motu after the Yogi Adityanath government had said the yatra could take place from Jul 25 with minimum number of people maintaining COVID-19 protocols.
The next hearing will take place on Friday.
'Can't play with people's lives,' Uttarakhand CM says cancelling Kanwar Yatra
Uttarakhand has cancelled this year's Kanwar Yatra due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision was taken by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami's government amid concerns over the risk posed by such huge gatherings in the face of the third wave.
"We, over the past many days, have discussed this a lot, spoke to authorities, and also officials in neighbouring states. The conclusion was that, in these times, we don't want to turn Haridwar into a centre of the pandemic," Chief Minister Dhami told the media.
"People's lives are our primary concern. We can't play around with that...Even the gods will not want people to die," he said announcing the decision to cancel the Yatra.
Kanwar Yatra is a fortnight-long yatra, which begins with the onset of the month of Shravan, around July 25 and continues till the first week of August.
It sees Kanwariyas (pilgrims) from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, and Himachal Pradesh gathering in Haridwar.