Uttarakhand Cancels Kanwar Yatra: God Wouldn’t Want People to Die, Says CM Pushkar Singh Dhami

New Delhi: Just days after cancelling the annual Kanwar Yatra in the state citing the COVID-19 pandemic, newly appointed Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has said that the kanwar yatra is a matter of shraddha (reverence) and aastha (faith), adding that “god would not like anyone to die”. His remarks came soon after discussing the annual pilgrimage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.

Speaking to the media in the national capital, CM Dhami said, “Kanwar Yatra is a matter of faith but God would not want people to lose their lives for the faith. Every life is precious”. The chief minister added, “Before me, a decision had already been taken by the state cabinet on June 30 that the kanwar yatra will not be allowed.” 

Kanwar Yatra is not a one-state affair

Earlier on Friday, Chief Minister Dhami said that the Kanwar Yatra is not a one-state affair and the state government will take the decision regarding the yatra after discussing with other states, including Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Dhami said, “Kanwar Yatra is not a one-state affair. We will discuss the issue with other states, including Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh. A decision will be taken after the meet.” 

On June 30, the state government had issued orders of cancelling the annual pilgrimage in view of the Covid-19 situation, but has been requested by its Uttar Pradesh counterpart to reconsider the decision.

The ‘Kanwar Yatra’ is an annual pilgrimage of Lord Shiva’s devotees. This time every year during the Hindu calendar month of ‘Saavan’, thousands of devotees from across India, undertake the pilgrimage called ‘Kanwar Yatra’. These pilgrims visit Haridwar, Gaumukh, and Gangotri in Uttarakhand and Sultanganj in Bihar to fetch the waters of river Ganga. Later, the holy water is dispensed as offerings to Lord Shiva in temples.

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