Organisers of the Kanwar Yatra in Uttar Pradesh have decided to cancel the religious event this year, too, in the wake of the COVID-19 situation in the country. The decision comes a day after the Supreme Court asked the Yogi Adityanath government to reconsider its decision to hold the event.
"On the request of the UP government, Kanwar associations have decided to cancel Kanwar Yatra in UP," said a government spokesperson.
The apex court had on Friday asked the state government to apprise it by July 19 on whether it would reconsider its decision to hold a “symbolic” Kanwar Yatra in the state, saying the right to life is paramount.
A bench of Justices R.F. Nariman and B.R. Gavai said that it is of the prima face view that all kinds of sentiments are subservient to Article 21 of the Constitution.
The court said the “Uttar Pradesh government cannot be allowed to hold Kanwar Yatra in view of Covid”.
The state government had earlier told the court that it had decided to hold a “symbolic” yatra with appropriate COVID-19 restrictions. During the hearing, the Centre, however, adopted a stand that states should not be allowed to hold Kanwar Yatra in view of Covid and arrangements for Ganga water should be made by tankers at specified places.
The Uttarakhand government had earlier decided to ban the event for this year due to COVID-19.
On July 14, the top court had had taken suo motu cognisance of media reports on the Uttar Pradesh government's decision to allow the event amidst the pandemic and sought responses from the state as well as the Centre "given the disparate political voices" on the matter.
It had referred to the statement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi 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.
With PTI inputs