A file photo of devotees during the annual Kanwar Yatra, in New Delhi on July 30, 2019.
A file photo of devotees during the annual Kanwar Yatra, in New Delhi on July 30, 2019. IANS

Akhara Parishad supports cancellation of Kanwar Yatra in UP

Prayagraj (Uttar Pradesh), July 18, 2021

The Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP) has supported the Yogi Adityanath government's decision to cancel the Kanwar Yatra in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Kanwar associations, late on Saturday night, decided to call off the yatra after the Supreme Court asked the state government to cancel the event.

Uttarakhand had already cancelled the Kanwar Yatra earlier.

ABAP president, Mahant Narendra Giri said, "On behalf of the Akhara Parishad I would like to appeal to the Shiva devotees not to take out the Kanwar Yatra in view of the predicted third wave of Covid-19 pandemic. Rather, the devotees should make Parthiva Shivlinga (Shivalinga made from clay) in their household and offer the water of river Ganga or for that matter even of the local pond of their village to Lord Shiva ''

He further said that, although the chief minister of the state wanted that Kanwar Yatra should be taken out by following all the laid down Covid-19 protocols, it is the moral responsibility of the devotees to see that their deeds should not, in any way, enhance the possibility of triggering the third wave of the pandemic.

"As such it is advisable that the puja should be done through making a Parthiv Shivalinga at their respective homes or if at all the devotees decide to visit the neighbouring Shiva temple, they must follow the laid down protocols,'' said Giri.

"The lives of common man are equally important as are religious practices, thus the best option is, like the previous year, we should not take out the yatra this year too," he said.

Chief patron of Juna Akhara, Mahant Hari Giri said, "Akhara Parishad has taken the right decision as while taking out the Kanwar yatra, the religious sentiments are quite high and devotees often forget to keep safe distance between themselves and the crowd and groups of devotees can enhance the risk of spreading the virus and unnecessarily invite the third wave".


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