Let Kumbh Mela Be Symbolic Given Covid Situation, Says Prime Minister Narendra Modi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday took to Twitter and said that the Kumbh Mela should be made symbolic because of the Covid situation in the country. He said he got an update on the health of the Niranjan Akhada seers who had tested positive following the Kumbh Mela that was held in Haridwar in the past week.

In a Twitter post, PM Modi said that he has had a phone call with Swami Awadheshanand Giri to enquire about the health of the saints. He further added that all kinds of assistance will be provided for the well-being of the saints.

“Two royal baths at the Kumbh Mela have taken place so far, lets keep the proceedings at Kumbh symbolic, it will help in providing strength to fight against the Corona crisis,” the Prime Minister said on Saturday.

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In a response, Swami Avdheshanand expressed his gratitude for PM’s phone call. He also took the opportunity to appeal to the people to abide by Covid guidelines for their safety amid the dire situation.

Uttarakhand CM Tirath Singh Rawat Also responded to the PM’s message urging the saints and devotees to observe Covid protocols and cooperate in the fight against Covid-19. He also assured that the Modi government is committed to protect and assist the community of saints.

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On Friday, 24 saints who attended the Kumbh Mela tested positive for Covid-19, India Today reported. As per sources, so far 54 saints have tested positive for the disease.

Apart from these, Covid-19 test reports of 203 seers and sadhus of various akhadas participating in the Kumbh Mela are yet to come.

Secretary of the Niranjani Akhara, Mahant Ravindra Puri, tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday. Earlier, Niranjani Akhara chief Narendra Giri had also tested positive for Covid-19. He is admitted at AIIMS, Rishikesh.

This comes even as seers of other akhadas in Haridwar on Friday demanded an apology from Niranjani Akhada for announcing the “conclusion” of the Kumbh Mela in view of a surge in COVID-19 cases, saying it did not have the right to do so. Niranjani Akhada, one of the 13 akhadas of seers participating in the Kumbh, had announced in Haridwar on Thursday that the Kumbh Mela was over for them.

“The main Shahi Snan (held on the occasion of Mesh Sankranti on April 14) is over. Many in our akhada are showing symptoms. So, for us the Kumbh Mela is over,” Niranjani Akhada Secretary Ravindra Puri had said. Nirvani Ani Akhada president Mahant Dharmdas said that only the mela officer or the chief minister has the right to announce the “end of the Kumbh Mela”. “Conclusion of the Kumbh Mela without the agreement of other akhadas, Niranjani Akhada has committed an unpardonable crime of creating chaos and confusion among the seers. Niranjani Akhada must apologise to the Akhada Parishad for what it has done or else it is difficult to keep up ties with them,” he said. Terming Niranjani Akhada’s decision as “incorrect”, he said any decision vis-a-vis Kumbh is taken collectively by the akhadas.

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