Temple priests' body to discuss Yamuna pollution, Covid impact on their inc

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Mathura, Mar 12 (PTI) An all-India body of temple priests has claimed that barring the West Bengal government, no other government has taken any step to provide any financial relief to `purohits' amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Akhil Bhartiya Tirth Purohit Mahasabha also alleged that the government often takes over only temples, leaving other religious shrines like mosques untouched.

The priests' body raised these concerns Friday, two days before its scheduled two-day meet starting Mar 14 in Bithoor near Kanpur.

During the meet, the organisation will also discuss various issues, including the Yamuna river water pollution, said its national president, Mahesh Pathak.

“We want a permanent solution to the problem of pollution in the Yamuna as it is steadily affecting the pilgrims’ visit to Mathura and other places on the river bank,” said Pathak.

The priests' organisation has decided to undertake a discussion on the Yamuna water pollution in the wake of the Feb 27 pledge by three prominent Hindu seers not to take another bath in the river on other ‘shahi snan’ days during the ongoing Vrindavan Kumbh unless the river water was cleaned.

The declaration to boycott the “shahi snan” in the river was made by the chief of the Ayodhya-based Maha Nirvani Akhara, Mahant Dharm Das, in the presence of the chiefs of two other Vaishnavi akharas (religious sectoral schools) – Maha Nirmohi and Maha Digambar akharas.

Pathak said after the boycott declaration by the three seers, the condition of Yamuna river pollution was somewhat improved by the discharge of additional water in it.

Pathak also alleged that except West Bengal Chief Minister Banerjee, no other government, including the Centre, has taken any step to provide relief to priests, economically hit by covid-19.

Accusing various governments of often taking over various temples, Pathak said the organisation body will not tolerate such moves of the government and asked why does the government never take over mosques, churches or Gurdwaras. PTI CORR RAX RAX