The Supreme Court on Wednesday took cognisance of the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to allow ‘Kanwar Yatra‘ in the state in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. A bench headed by Justice RF Nariman issued a notice to the state government and posted the matter for hearing on Friday.
“I read something. The citizens of India are completely perplexed. They don’t know what is going on. And all this amid the prime minister’s warning against third Covid wave, and saying that we cannot compromise even one bit," said Justice Nariman while issuing the notice.
The Yogi Adityanath government on Tuesday allowed the yatra from July 25 despite concerns raised in various quarters over the risk posed by such events in triggering a possible third wave of Covid-19.
“This is a matter of people’s faith. The government only makes the arrangements for this. It is only on the basis of arrangements by the government that we have defeated the first and the second wave of coronavirus. The notice by the Supreme Court has come to my knowledge, we will file our reply after discussion with the chief minister," UP health minister Jai Pratap Singh said.
In the wake of apex court’s observation, the opposition launched an attack on the government. “During the corona period, advice from specialists and health experts should have been taken before deciding on Kanwar Yatra as this is a matter of people’s lives," UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu said.
Samajwadi Party spokesperson Anurag Bhadauria said, “The responsibility of life and health of people lies with the state. The government should ensure that there is no laxity when it comes to health."
Meanwhile, the Uttarakhand government has cancelled the ‘Kanwar Yatra’ in view of a possible third wave. “We are not interested in turning Haridwar into a Covid-19 hotspot. We do not want to put people’s lives at risk. Keeping this in mind we have decided to cancel the Kanwar Yatra. We have to save lives. God wouldn’t want lives to be lost," said Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami after the meeting.
(with inputs from Qazi Faraz Ahmad in Lucknow)