The Supreme Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognizance of Uttar Pradesh allowing the annual Kanwar Yatra amid fears of a third wave of Covid-19 infections.
A Bench headed by Justice Rohinton F. Nariman issued notice to the UP government and sought its response while posting the case for further consideration on Friday, July 16.
The Apex Court took cognizance of a report in The Indian Express published on Wednesday morning which stated,
“Amid fears of a possible third wave of Covid-19, the Uttarakhand government has suspended the Kanwar yatra even as neighbouring Uttar Pradesh is pressing ahead with the annual ritual that sees a heavy movement of pilgrims across states in the northern belt”.
On Tuesday, the UP government announced the Kanwar Yatra could take place with a “minimum number of people” and that a negative RT-PCR test could be made compulsory, if required.
On the other hand, Uttarakhand has cancelled the Kanwar Yatra this year citing the pandemic. Both Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand will be going to vote in 2022.
The traditional pilgrimage involves thousands of worshippers or kanwariyas trekking to the ghats of the river Ganga in Haridwar, Uttarakhand, filling their pitchers with holy water and offering it to Lord Shiva at a temple near their homes on Shivratri, usually in August, but on August 6 this year. The pilgrimage is largely taken up by the youth of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi and Uttarakhand.
Read order belowSC-order-on-Kanwar-yatra