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Juna Akhada concludes participation in the Kumbh Mela on the Covid-19 agitation

Citing concerns regarding the prevailing Covid-19 situation in the country, the Juna Akahada on Saturday announced it has decided to end its participation in the ongoing Haridwar Kumbh Mela.

Citing concerns about the prevailing Covid-19 situation in the country, the Juna Akhada on Saturday announced its decision to end its participation in the ongoing Haridwar Kumbh Mela.

Juna Akhada Mahamandaleshwar Swami Avadheshanand Giri in a tweet said the well-being of people is their first priority, and seeing the rising number of Covid-19 cases, the Juna Akhada has decided to end its participation in the Haridwar Kumbh Mela.

“Seeing the rising number of Covid-19 cases, we have duly offered final prayers to all deities invoked at the Kumbh Mela. For Juna Akhada, the Kumbh Mela has ended,” he tweeted.

Sources say seers from other akhadas are also thinking about limiting their participation due to the Covid-19 scare.

Earlier this week, the Niranjani Akhada too announced that it is ending its participation in the Kumbh Mela due to health concerns borne out of the rising Covid-19 cases.

Swami Avadheshanand Giri also appealed to people to attend the Kumbh Mela in limited numbers in view of the surge in Covid-19 cases. “Faith is a big thing, but human lives are far more important,” he said.

“We must all realise that the strain of coronavirus was not as aggressive or fatal earlier as it is at present. So my appeal to the emotional devotees is that they should attend the Kumbh fair in limited numbers,” he was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Juna Akhada’s decision to end its participation in the Kumbh Mela comes hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to the seers to have only symbolic participation in the Kumbh Mela due to the Covid-19 crisis.

In a tweet, PM Modi said he spoke to Swami Avdheshanand Giri over telephone and enquired about the health of saints, many of whom have contracted the infection, and also conveyed his appreciation for their cooperation with the local administration.

“I prayed that two ‘shahi snan’ have taken place and Kumbh (participation) should now be kept symbolic. This will boost the fight against this crisis,” the prime minister tweeted in Hindi.

The ongoing Kumbh, which has seen people from different parts of the country attending the auspicious event in large numbers, has drawn flak from various quarters as the number of Covid-19 cases has zoomed at a rapid pace in the past few weeks.

The event has also reported the coronavirus cases in large numbers. The ongoing Kumbh has already been shortened this year to just one month from April 1 to 30 due to the pandemic.

In normal circumstances, the event, which comes once in 12 years, is held from mid-January to April.

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