Uttrakhand's Haridwar Imposes 'Corona Curfew' After Kumbh Mela's Final Shahi Snan

Over 25,000 devotees and 1000 seers gather for the occasion of Kumbh Mela's last Shahi Snan following which Haridwar's district administration on Wednesday announced a curfew.
Uttrakhand's Haridwar Imposes 'Corona Curfew' After Kumbh Mela's Final Shahi Snan

Uttrakhand- On the holy occasion of Chitra Purnima, over 25,000 devotees and around 1,350 seers from various akharas gathered to take a holy dip in Brahmkund at Har Ki Pauri during the Kumbh Mela's final Shahi Snan (royal bath) on Tuesday. 

Chitra Purnima is a holy day for the Hindu Community which is celebrated on a full moon day in the month of Chaitra, which is considered to be the first month of the year according to the Hindu calendar. It is a festival dedicated to Chitragupta, a Hindu god who is tasked with recording the good and bad deeds committed by humans by Yama, the Hindu god of death and the underworld. On this day, devotees take a dip in the river asking Chitragupta to redeem them from their sins.

Only nearly one percent of the total expected people turned up for this event on the 27th of April. 

Due to the nationwide criticism against the large gatherings in the Kumbh Mela followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to keep this event symbolic, various akharas decided to keep this event symbolic in order to avoid further spread of this deadly infectious disease. 

"Following appeal from the Prime Minister and constant review by the Chief Minister, akharas cooperated in keeping the crowd low today. There were meetings with akharas daily over the last three days on crowd management. They followed social distancing too. Even Naga sadhus wore masks," said Sanjay Gunjyal, IG of Kumbh Mela. 

Gunjyal, before the final shahi snan on Tuesday, visited every akhara camp to ensure the attendance restrictions. 

Few hours following the gathering for the last shahi snan, the district administration of Haridwar imposed a 'corona curfew' in an attempt to curb the spread of the infectious disease. 

During the last shahi snan, the devotees have been seen openly flouting COVID-19 protocols like not wearing masks and failing to maintain social distance. This is nothing new as the Mahakumbh Mela has repeatedly made headlines for people failing to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols and have received tremendous backlash from various section of people in the society. Read more

The Haridwar district magistrate said that only essential services will be allowed during the curfew hours, which will be enforced in the urban areas of Haridwar, Roorkee, Laksar, and Bhagwanpur. 

The first shahi snan held on March 11 saw a footfall of over 32 lakhs and the tally was almost the same for the second shahi snan held on April 14. The figures declined to 13 lakh during the third shahi snan on April 14. 

After the advent of the Kumbh Mela on  April 1, over 2000 positive cases were reported between April 10 and 15. 30 sadhus contracted the virus by April 16 while the head of the Maha Nirvani Akhada succumbed to the coronavirus infection after undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Dehradun. 

Uttrakhand as of Monday reported over 5000 fresh cases of the novel coronavirus which less than two months earlier had only 58 confirmed cases. 

This event has been severely criticized by medical experts and the opposition as a COVID-19 super-spreader event. 

Meanwhile, India yet again smashes its own previous record of the single-day highest spike in the cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday as it reported 3,60,960 fresh cases, the highest ever single-day spike recorded globally. In the last 24 hours, 3,293 fresh cases of COVID-induced fatalities were reported taking the total death toll of the country to 2.01 lakhs. Yesterday's surge in the cases of the novel coronavirus takes the total tally of the country's caseload to 1.79 crores while the active cases amount to 29.71 lakhs. Over 3 lakh COVID-19 cases have been reported in India for the seventh straight day, making it the second-worst coronavirus-affected country in the world. Read more

Top Headlines

No stories found.
Sentinel Assam