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'No Kanwar Yatra this year': Uttar Pradesh govt tells Supreme Court

ANI | Updated: Jul 19, 2021 16:01 IST

New Delhi [India], July 19 (ANI): The Uttar Pradesh government on Monday informed the Supreme Court that it has decided to completely cancel the 'Kanwar Yatra' this year, and all Kanwar Sangh's have agreed to this in view of COVID-19.
The stand of the UP government came two days after the Supreme Court gave an ultimatum to it to "reconsider" its decision to allow 'Kanwar Yatra' amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In today's hearing, Senior Advocate CS Vaidyanathan appearing for Uttar Pradesh told the Supreme Court that this is the second year that the yatra has been cancelled due to the pandemic.
Vaidyanathan added that if at the local level a devotee visits a local temple then it does not mean 'Yatra' at all and has to maintain the COVID protocols in place.
Delhi and Uttarakhand have already cancelled the 'Kanwar Yatra'.
The Supreme Court on Friday gave the Uttar Pradesh's government till today's time to cancel the annual pilgrimage over COVID-19 risks.
On Friday, a bench headed by Justice Rohinton F Nariman gave an ultimatum to the Uttar Pradesh government to either "reconsider" its decision or the court will pass orders on Monday.
Justice Rohinton Nariman on Friday added that the court is of the prima facie view that the decision on 'Kanwar yatra' concerned all of us and is at the heart of Fundamental Right to Life. The health of the citizenry of India and the Right to Life is paramount, all other sentiments whether being religious is subservient to this basic Fundamental Right.
Justice Nariman further said, "The State of UP cannot go ahead with this. 100 per cent". To which Vaidyanathan appearing for Uttar Pradesh told the Bench that authorities would be apprised of the apex court's views and we would apprise the court as to whether there could be a reconsideration of holding a physical 'Kanwar Yatra' amid Covid 19.
During the hearing on Friday, Vaidyanathan told the Supreme Court that the total ban was not possible and they have had allowed the 'Kanwar Yatra' in a symbolic manner with a limited number of devotees under stringent conditions. (ANI)