New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government over its decision to allow Kanwar Yatra amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice RF Nariman took suo moto cognizance of the UP government's decision to allow the Kanwar Yatra from next week and sought a response from the Yogi Adityanath government. The matter will be heard on Friday.

"We read something disturbing... that Uttar Pradesh has chosen to continue with the Kanwar Yatra while Uttarakhand, with the hindsight of experience, has said there will be no yatra," a two-judge bench of Justices RF Nariman and BR Gavai said.

"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 added.

"We are issuing notice to the centre, UP and Uttarakhand and because the yatra is to leave from July 25, we want them to file early responses and the matter will be heard on Friday."

Meanwhile, the government of Uttarakhand on Tuesday called off the Kanwar Yatra, citing the risk of COVID-19. Uttar Pradesh has decided to continue with the Kanwar Yatra despite Uttarakhand cancelling the pilgrimage this year.

The yatra, in which the devotees of Lord Shiva travel on foot to collect water from river Ganges at Haridwar, Uttarakhand, to offer at Shiva temples in their areas, is scheduled to be held from July 25 to August 6. Earlier, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) also urged the Uttarakhand government not to go ahead with the yatra this year amid the pandemic.

Posted By: Subhasish Dutta