[Magh Mela 2022] PIL before Allahabad High Court seeks limit on devotee participation, ban on public bath on Shahi Snan dates

  • Salil Tiwari
  • 09:54 AM, 14 Jan 2022

A plea has been filed before Allahabad High Court praying for directions to Uttar Pradesh Government to limit the participation in the Magh Mela, 2022 that is scheduled to begin from January 14 at Prayagraj. The petitioner has cited the current upsurge in the Covid-19 infections as the reason. 

Utkarsh Mishra, the petitioner, has also sought the Court's direction to the state government to abstain the devotees from bathing in/participating in the Mela on the auspicious dates i.e. Shahi Snan. Mishra has reasoned that the major footfall of devotees in the Mela takes place on these auspicious dates.

Demanding these restrictions, Mishra has alleged that religious congregations in the past two years were responsible for spreading the deadly virus all over the country. He has averred that the kumbh of Haridwar was held during the peak of second wave of the Covid-19 which resulted in a huge number of Covid-19 infections and thus was voluntarily called off by the seers of various ‘Akharas’.

To further establish the necessity of his prayers, Mishra has also stated that "from the statistics of the last 10 days it is quite evident that new Covid-19 cases have increased from about 3000 cases/day to more than 1.5 lakh cases/day."

Therefore, Mishra says that in this situation it would be preferable for the devotees to abstain devotees from taking dip in the river Ganga on auspicious dates i.e. Shahi Snan.

Furthermore, as an alternative solution, Mishra suggests that only allowing the seers of ‘Akharas’ to take holy dip on the dates of Shahi Snan will prevent the huge turn up of devotees anticipated on these auspicious dates.

The Magh Mela is an annual festival with fairs held in the month of Magh (January/February) near the confluence of river Ganga and Yamuna i.e. Sangam at Prayagraj.

Cause Title: Utkarsh Mishra vs State of U.P. and Others