Lucknow/Haridwar | Jagran News Desk: Uttar Pradesh will not hold Kanwar Yatra this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The development comes a day after the Supreme Court gave Uttar Pradesh’s Yogi government an ultimatum till Monday to reconsider the “symbolic Kanwar Yatra” the state government had told the top court it intended to go ahead with. Uttarakhand had already suspended Kanwar Yatra this year, whereas Uttar Pradesh was yet to take the final call on it.

"On the request of the UP government, Kanwar associations have decided to cancel Kanwar Yatra in UP," said a state government spokesperson in a media statement.

“The Uttar Pradesh government cannot go ahead with the Kanwar Yatra – 100 per cent,” a Supreme Court bench comprising of Justices Rohinton F Nariman and BR Gavai had said, urging the state to reconsidered the decision to go ahead with annual pilgrimage “in the interest of health of the citizenry of India”.

Earlier, Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP), the umbrella body of the country’s 13 Hindu monastic orders had requested the devotees to consider praying from home instead of going ahead with Yatra.

“On behalf of the Akhara Parishad, I would like to appeal to the Shiva devotees not to take out the Kanwar yatra, given the possible third wave of Covid-19 pandemic. Rather, the devotees should make Parthiva Shivlinga (Shivalinga made from clay) in their houses and offer the water of river Ganga or for that matter even of the local pond of their village to Lord Shiva,” ABAP President  Mahanta Narendra Giri had appealed in a media statement.

Uttarakhand, the state that hosts the Kanwariyas has deployed heavy security at its borders to restrict the Kanwariyas entering the state. The state has announced a shutdown of its borders for ‘Kanwariyas’ from July 24, the day when the holy month of Shravan begins in Hindu calendar. 

Posted By: Mukul Sharma