Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday suspended the kanwar yatra. The move came a day after Supreme Court on Friday asked the state government to inform it by July 19 whether it would reconsider its decision to hold a “symbolic” Kanwar Yatra.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognizance of Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to allow ‘Kanwar Yatra’ amid COVID-19 and asked the Centre and the state governments of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand to give their responses on the issue.
The Union government on Friday filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court wherein it stated that state governments must not permit the movement of Kanwariyas for bringing ‘Ganga Jal’ from Haridwar in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Union government informed the Supreme Court that tankers have to be made available at identified/designated locations so that nearby devotees can collect such ‘Ganga Jal’ and do ‘abhishek’ at their nearest Shiv temples.
On July 9, IMA’s Uttaranchal branch wrote to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami requesting not to go ahead with Kanwar Yatra this year. Later the state government decided to cancel the yatra in view of the pandemic.
The Kanwar Yatra, in which Shiva devotees from northern states travel on foot or by other means to collect water from River Ganga at Haridwar to offer it at Shiva temples in their areas, is set to begin from July 25.