Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Top Stories

"Clear Co-relation Between Holding Of Kumbh Mela And Consequent Deaths, COVID Shouldn't Be Re-Invited By Permitting Large Gathering At Shrines: Uttarakhand HC

Sparsh Upadhyay
24 Jun 2021 2:54 PM GMT
Clear Co-relation Between Holding Of Kumbh Mela And Consequent Deaths, COVID Shouldnt Be Re-Invited By Permitting Large Gathering At Shrines: Uttarakhand HC
x
There is a clear correlation between the holding of Kumbh Mela in April, 2021, and the consequent deaths that occurred in Uttarakhand in May, 2021: Uttarakhand High Court

The Uttarakhand High Court on Wednesday observed that the COVID pandemic should not be re-invited by holding and permitting large gathering at religious shrines, and by permitting the Char Dham Yatra by the State Government. The Bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma asked the Government to review its decision to commence the Char Dham Yatra on July...

The Uttarakhand High Court on Wednesday observed that the COVID pandemic should not be re-invited by holding and permitting large gathering at religious shrines, and by permitting the Char Dham Yatra by the State Government.

The Bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma asked the Government to review its decision to commence the Char Dham Yatra on July 1, 2021.

"Perhaps the Char Dham Yatra needs to be postponed or cancelled, as already the Amarnath Yatra has been cancelled by the Jammu & Kashmir administration," added the Court.

The Court observed that it was well-aware that the cancellation of the Yatra might cause financial difficulties for the residents of the Char Dham, however, added:

"It is more important to save the lives of the people."

Furthermore, the Court stressed that the Government was free to announce "economic stimulus plans" for the benefits of the businessmen and the tourism industry which depends on the pilgrims visiting the Char Dham.

The Court also mooted the idea of live streaming the Char Dham shrines for the benefit of the people of the country, to take care of the religious sentiments of the people.

"Such live streaming would permit the devotees to witness the deity, to pay reverence to the deity, and yet save the lives of the people," highlighted the Court.

With this, the Court directed the Chief Secretary to inform the decision of the Cabinet with regard to the decision, if any, taken by it about the opening of the Char Dham Yatra to the Court on June 28, 2021.

Importantly, the Court directed the State Government to review its decision to open the Char Dham Yatra for the following reasons:

  • Firstly, the emergence of the "Delta Plus variant" which has already started affecting Madhya Pradesh and other Southern states, will soon spread to other parts of the country, including Uttarakhand.
  • Secondly, the statement given by the Director, All India Institute of Medical Science, New Delhi, that India will be hit by the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic by August, 2021.
  • Thirdly, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic which still continues to play havoc, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has already decided to cancel the Amarnath Yatra scheduled for this year.
  • Fourthly, a perusal of data available clearly indicates that Uttarakhand had permitted the Kumbh Mela between 01st April to 30th April. According to the media reports, 59% of deaths that occurred in Uttarakhand due to COVID-19 occurred in the month of May, 2021. Thus, there is a clear co-rrelation between the holding of Kumbh Mela in April, 2021, and the consequent deaths that occurred in Uttarakhand in May, 2021.
  • Fifthly, recently, on 20.06.2021, on the occasion of Ganga Dussehra, lakhs of people were permitted to gather at Har-ki-Pauri at Haridwar. According to the media reports, the SOP dealing with the precautions to be taken for COVID-19 was observed more in the breach than in compliance.
  • Sixthly, holding of Kumbh Mela, and in permitting a large congregation of lakhs of people on Ganga Dussehra at Har-ki-Pauri at Haridwar are clear cut proof of the failure of the Civil Administration, to administer the precautionary SOPs prescribed by the Central Government and the State Government. Once the devotees start gathering in large number, invariably the first victim is the SOP itself; the second victims are the people at large.
  • Eighthly, according to the affidavit filed by Dr. Ashish Chauhan, the Tourism Department is yet to prepare the SOP for opening the Char Dham Yatra.
  • Lastly, and most importantly, the Country has already been warned that the third wave of COVID-19 will hit our children from prenatal age group to eighteen years. If the children are lost or are being sacrificed at the altar of COVID-19, the loss will not only be of the parents, but also be of the nation at large.

Click Here To Download Order

Read Order


Next Story