SC takes suo motu cognizance over UP govt’s decision to allow Kanwar Yatra

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognizance of the Uttar Pradesh Government’s decision to allow ‘Kanwar Yatra’ amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We read something disturbing in the Indian Express today that the state of UP has chosen to continue with the Kanwar yatra, while the state of Uttarakhand with its hindsight of experience, has said that there will be no Yatra. We wish to know what the stand of the respective governments is.,” a bench headed by Justice RF Nariman stated.

On Tuesday night, the Uttarakhand government suspended the ‘Kanwar Yatra’ in view of the COVID-19 situation and stated that the top priority of the government is to save the lives of the people. However, as per reports, so far no such decision has been taken by the Uttar Pradesh government.

The last time when the pilgrimage took place was in 2019 and as per reports over 3.5 crores participated. In 2020, the Yatra was suspended.

“We cannot compromise even one bit. We are issuing notice to the Centre, the state of UP and the state of Uttarakhand and because the yatra is scheduled to leave from 25 July”, Justice Nariman told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

The bench will hear the matter on Friday.

Devotees of Lord Shiva take the annual pilgrimage where they bring the water of the river Ganga to the local temple in pots on their shoulders via foot from Haridwar and other holy places.