By Joymala Bagchi
New Delhi [India], July 15 (ANI): The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Thursday said that currently any kind of gathering will act as fuel for the spread of coronavirus and thanked the Supreme Court for taking cognizance and acting proactively to reports that Uttar Pradesh government has decided to allow the Kanwar Yatra.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognizance of Uttar Pradesh government decision to allow 'Kanwar Yatra' amid COVID-19 and asked the Centre and the governments of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand to give their responses on the issue.
JA Jayalal, President, IMA told ANI, "Any kind of gathering is a fuel for the spread of the disease which will be inviting the third wave in our country. How it is being responded to depends on the government. The government had to take a decision on various grounds other than medical grounds.
"There might be economic grounds, people's philosophy, mindset, many things are involved. However, it is our duty to question and appeal to the government. At this moment any mass gathering for any pretext is going to be a disaster for the country," said Jayalal.
While speaking on UP's Kanwar Yatra, Jayalal said, "This is quite an unfortunate situation. We definitely need to relook. This is an administrative issue as well as an issue of the public and all the stakeholders have to work together. I am thankful to the Supreme Court for taking up the issue proactively and taking suo motu cognizance on it."
On July 9, IMA's Uttaranchal branch wrote to Uttarakhand Chief Minister requesting not to go ahead with Kanwar Yatra this year.
Later the state government decided to cancel the yatra in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Kanwar Yatra, in which Shiva devotees from northern states travel on foot or by other means to collect water from River Ganga at Haridwar, Uttarakhand, to offer at Shiva temples in their areas, is set to begin from July 25.
The matter will come up for hearing tomorrow before the Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman. (ANI)