'God Would Not Like Anyone to Die': Uttarakhand CM on Kanwar Yatra

The discussion over whether the pilgrimage will be held or not is still underway.

2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami.</p></div>

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, commenting on the Kanwar Yatra, said that the pilgrimage is a matter of faith and that "God would not like anyone to die". The discussion over whether the pilgrimage will be held or not is still underway.

Speaking to the Press on Sunday, 11 July, the recently instated chief minister indicated that the previous Uttarakhand Cabinet, headed by former CM Tirath Singh Rawat, had decided to call off the pilgrimage this year, due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation.

When Dhami stepped in, he decided to reassess the cancellation.

"I thought that it is a matter of reverence and faith. A matter of reverence and faith is associated with God and even God would not like anyone to die," he was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

While Uttar Pradesh had decided to permit the Kanwar Yatra, Uttarakhand is in discussion with its neighbouring states, including Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, on the matter, and is yet to declare its decision, news agency ANI reported.

The religious pilgrimage undertaken by the devotees of Lord Shiva is set to commence from 25 July.

A meeting had reportedly been held with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday to deliberate upon the matter of the pilgrimage.

“Our priority is that people’s life is not put in danger. That means no one should die,” Chief Minister Dhami said a day after the meeting, The Indian Express reported.

Uttarakhand had recorded an 1,800% increase in COVID-19 cases between 31 March and 24 April, when the Haridwar Kumbh Mela was held.

Adhere to COVID-19 Protocol: UP CM Yogi Adityanath on Kanwar Yatra

UP Chief Minister Adityanath had chaired a video conference attended by all the divisional commissioners of the state and senior officers of police zones on Friday, 9 July, in order to review the preparations made for the upcoming Yatra.

"Complete adherence to the COVID protocol should be ensured. There should not be any hesitation regarding the safe and successful operation of Kanwar Yatras," he stated, as per an official release, NDTV reported.

During the meeting, the chief minister appraised the preparations and safety arrangements made for the Yatra and emphasised on the need to ensure cleanliness and sufficient lighting in all of the pilgrimage route-related areas, including temples and Shivalayas.

He also asked the officials to maintain coordination with the Kanwar sanghs in order to ensure that caution is maintained throughout the pilgrimage and that no unnecessary gathering of crowds takes place during the Yatra.

Last year, the Kanwar Yatra had been cancelled due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.

(With inputs from The Indian Express, ANI and NDTV)

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