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HC pulls up Uttarakhand govt. over religious fairs

The Uttarakhand High Court on Monday pulled up the State government for continuing to allow religious events despite a surge in the coronavirus cases and doubted its preparedness to deal with the pandemic, asking it to “wake up from slumber”.

“We cannot behave like the proverbial ostrich and bury our head in sand in the face of the pandemic,” Chief Justice R.S. Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma said while hearing a PIL on the government’s handling of the pandemic.

The Bench asked why the State was still not prepared despite combating the pandemic for more than a year, and reminded the government about predictions of a third wave.

The court said the while the State reeled under the effect of the Kumbh Mela, the Purnagiri Mela took place attracting a crowd of 10,000. It asked whether the rise in coronavirus cases in Kumaon was a result of that mela.

Confusion over yatra

The court questioned the State government for the confusion over the Chardham yatra, asking whether the annual pilgrimage will be allowed to become a coronavirus hotbed.

While the government says the yatra has been cancelled, the board managing the temples has issued the standard operating procedure for the same, it said.

“How can we make sure that it will be followed when the same was flouted during the Kumbh Mela?” it asked, referring to the SOP. The court directed the State government to pool all its resources in the fight against the pandemic.

“We are fighting a world war with an invisible enemy and must put in all the resources. Under Article 21 of the Constitution, it is the foremost duty of the state to preserve the life of its citizens. The government must pour every drop into it,” the Bench said.


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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 7:30:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/hc-pulls-up-uttarakhand-govt-over-religious-fairs/article34530436.ece

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