Kanwar Unions in Uttar Pradesh call off yatra after appeal by state government


Lucknow: The Kanwar Yatra unions in Uttar Pradesh have decided to call it off the pilgrimage this year, the decsion comes a day after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led government initiated talks with “kanwar sanghs” and urged them to take the right decision on the annual yatra following a nudge by the Supreme Court.

On Friday, the Supreme Court taken suo motu cognisance of media reports on the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to allow a “symbolic” Kanwar Yatra. The apex court said the right to life is paramount and all kind of sentiments are subservient to Article 21 of Constitution. The SC had asked the state government to reconsider its decision to hold and asked to be informed of the decision by July 19.    

The apex court’s observation came after the Uttar Pradesh government told the bench that it has decided after relevant discussions to hold a symbolic Kanwar Yatra with appropriate COVID-19 restrictions.

SC referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement stating that not even a bit of compromise can be made on COVID-19 containment and said the citizens were perplexed about the happenings in view of the fact that the UP government has allowed the religious ‘yatra’ commencing from July 25.

It had issued notices to the Centre and the state governments of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The next hearing has been set for Monday (July 19).

The Uttarakhand government had announced the suspension of the annual pilgrimage for the safety of people in view of the looming threat of the third wave of COVID-19. It is preparing to also seal its borders to prevent kanwariyas from entering the state despite the ban.

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