Yogi Adityanath directs 'meat-free' protection of Hindu beliefs for Kanwar Yatra
Issuing directions to the police and other local officials ahead of Bakri Eid and Kanwar Yatra, the UP CM made a point of respecting the beliefs of (Hindu) devotees
On Tuesday, 27 June, the state government of Uttar Pradesh (UP) again announced the prohibition on the sale of meat along the route fixed for the Kanwar Yatra, which will commence on 4 July. This has been a practice in the state for years.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath issued this directive, among other directions, in an official statement, while chairing a review meeting with senior state officials ahead of the upcoming festival season. Among those present were police commissioners, divisional commissioners, district magistrates and superintendents of police.
The statement notes that the Kanwar Yatra starts on 4 July, in the month of Shravan per the Saka calendar, and will continue for two months. Eid al-Adha, the second-most important Islamic festival and one involving animal sacrifice (hence the popular moniker Bakri Eid), will be celebrated on June 29, just ahead of the Kanwar Yatra — and is over before the yatra begins. However, the chief minister still felt the need to add, “This time is sensitive from the point of view of law and order. So, we have to be constantly alert and careful."
The chief minister also noted that this year, due to adhimas (an additional month), the 'month' of Shravan is of two months' duration, which also features the festivals of Shravani Shivratri, Nag Panchami and Rakshabandhan.
Adityanath said that as it is essential to respect the beliefs of (Hindu) devotees, the open sale of meat would be prohibited along the Kanwar Yatra route.
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It is not the first time the Yogi government has implemented this ban, of course. The reported on 10 July last year the Yogi government had banned the sale of meat along the routes fixed for Kanwar Yatra in UP.
On 14 July last year, the Uttarakhand government too had placed a ban on meat sale in favour of maintaining the 'sanctity' of the Kanwar Yatra.
He asked officers to deploy divers on the basis of past experiences and install CCTVs on the Kanwar Yatra route.
The places for setting up of Kanwar camps should be marked in advance so that the traffic is not obstructed. There should be no display of weapons in religious processions, he said.
The chief minister also directed officials to ensure that the sound level of DJ, music, etc., to be used during the Kanwar procession is as per the prescribed standards.
In contrast to the way the Kanwar Yatra seemed to extend its sphere of influence other communities along its route, the rules around Eid al-Adha placed restrictions limiting the space available to celebrants.
Referring to Eid al-Adha, the chief minister added that the place for a sacrifice should be marked in advance. "Sacrifice should not be done anywhere other than the previously marked place."
Certain other directions were also laid down to the police and administration around Eid.
Inputs from PTI