After Uttarakhand government cancelled this year’s Kanwar Yatra due to rising fears of a potential third wave of Covid-19, the Yogi Adityanath government in UP approached the Kanwar sanghs (unions) on Friday for the official announcement.
Sources in the UP government told News18 that the announcement of suspension of the pilgrimage will be made via the Kanwar sanghs.
A dialogue is currently in process with the Kanwar sanghs to convince them to call off the yatra due to the pandemic. In 2020, too, it were these unions who had announced the cancellation of pilgrimage.
The Uttarakhand government took the decision on Wednesday after a high-level meeting between Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and top officials of the state government. The Indian Medical Association had on Tuesday requested CM Pushkar Singh Dhami to cancel the Kanwar Yatra in view of Covid-19.
“We are not interested in turning Haridwar into a Covid-19 hotspot. We do not want to put people’s lives at risk. Keeping this in mind we have decided to cancel the Kanwar Yatra. We have to save lives. God wouldn’t want lives to be lost,” said Dhami after the meeting.
The pilgrimage is undertaken each year by thousands of devotees of Hindu deity Shiva. These devotees, called Kanwariyas, walk hundreds of kilometres to collect water, usually from the river Ganga, and offer it in Shiva temples in their respective hometowns.
(With inputs from Pranshu Mishra)
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