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PM Modi dials Akhada head, says Kumbh Mela should only be symbolic for now

Following the Prime Minister's appeal, Swami Avdheshanand Giri requested people not to come for holy dips in the river Ganga in large numbers, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and to follow all rules.

PM Modi appeal to Akhada Kumbh Mela should only be symbolic for now-VPN
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New Delhi, First Published Apr 17, 2021, 9:34 AM IST
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday spoke to Juna Akhada head Swami Avdheshanand Giri over telephone, and urged him that Kumbh Mela should only be symbolic for now in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.

Following the Prime Minister's appeal, Swami Avdheshanand Giri requested people not to come for snan in large numbers, in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic and to follow all rules.

The Prime Minister's appeal came days after Mahamandaleshwar Kapil Dev Das, head of one of the Akhadas, succumbed to the virus. 

Another 80 'sadhus' have tested positive after attending the ongoing Kumbh Mela.

During the two Shahi Snans held this month, a total violation of Covid-appropriate behaviour was witnessed as devotees who turned up to take a dip at Haridwar were neither seen wearing masks nor maintaining social distancing.

On April 14 (Baisakhi shahi snan) alone, a staggering 9,43,452 devotees took a dip in the holy Ganges. Over 2000 people have tested positive so far in the Kumbh premises.

The helpless state administration watched on, citing that enforcing social distancing guidelines could trigger a stampede at the ghats.

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