Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Saturday, said that the ongoing Kumbh Mela should now only be symbolic in view of the surging cases in the country. The PM tweeted that he spoke to Swami Avdheshanand Giri over the phone and checked on the health of the seers who are visiting the congregation. He said that all the seers are also following all the necessary protocols.
"Spoke to Swami Avdheshanand Giri on the phone today. I enquired about the health of all the seers. All the seers are fully cooperating with the authorities in all manner. I am thankful to all the seers for their cooperation," said PM Modi.
आचार्य महामंडलेश्वर पूज्य स्वामी अवधेशानंद गिरि जी से आज फोन पर बात की। सभी संतों के स्वास्थ्य का हाल जाना। सभी संतगण प्रशासन को हर प्रकार का सहयोग कर रहे हैं। मैंने इसके लिए संत जगत का आभार व्यक्त किया।— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 17, 2021
"I have requested that since two shahi snans (royal baths) have already taken place, Kumbh should now be symbolic in view of the corona pandemic. This will help in the fight against the pandemic," he further added.
मैंने प्रार्थना की है कि दो शाही स्नान हो चुके हैं और अब कुंभ को कोरोना के संकट के चलते प्रतीकात्मक ही रखा जाए। इससे इस संकट से लड़ाई को एक ताकत मिलेगी। @AvdheshanandG— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 17, 2021
PM Modi's request comes after several seers tested positive for coronavirus. Two chief seers, also respectfully called mahamandaleshwars, have succumbed to the disease. Nearly 2,000 devotees have tested positive for coronavirus in a week's time. This comes after images showed devotees who took part in the royal baths held on Somwati Amavasya on April 12 and Mesh Sankranti on April 14 flouting norms.
Meanwhile, Niranjani Akhada, one of the 13 akhadas of seers participating in the Kumbh, announced the 'conclusion' of the Kumbh Mela on Thursday. "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. Following this, seers of other akhadas demanded an apology from Niranjani Akhada. Nirvani Ani Akhada said, "By announcing the 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."