The Centre has said that state governments must not allow the Kanwar Yatra in view of the prevailing Covid-19 situation. In its affidavit submitted in the Supreme Court, the government said that permission should not be given for the movement of Kanwariyas for bringing 'Ganga Jal' from Haridwar.
The government, however, suggested that considering religious sentiments, states should develop system to make 'Ganga Jal' available via tankers at designated locations.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has asked the Uttar Pradesh government to apprise it by July 19 on whether it would reconsider its decision to hold a 'symbolic' Kanwar Yatra in the state, saying the right to life is paramount. A bench of Justices RF Nariman and B R Gavai said that it is of the prima face view that all kinds of sentiments are subservient to Article 21 of the Constitution.
It said the "Uttar Pradesh government cannot be allowed to hold Kanwar Yatra in view of Covid".
The top court's direction came after the Uttar Pradesh government told the bench that it has decided after relevant discussions to hold a 'symbolic" Kanwar Yatra with appropriate Covid restrictions.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Supreme Court had taken suo motu cognisance of a news on Uttar Pradesh government's decision to allow 'Kanwar Yatra' amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and sought responses from the state as well as the Centre. It had referred to the statement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that not even a bit of compromise can be made on COVID-19 containment and said the citizens were perplexed about the happenings in view of the fact that the UP government has allowed the religious 'yatra' commencing from July 25.