Friday, August 19, 2022

Jharkhand government calls off Shravani Mela due to COVID-19

Ranchi: World famous Shravani Mela of Deoghar will not be organized this year in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. A decision to this effect has been taken by the Jharkhand government. This was announced by Chief Minister Hemant Soren here on Wednesday.

Soren said opening the Baba Baidyanath temple would not be a wise decision in view of the huge public health risk. ¨The state government faces a major challenge in the current situation. By the blessings of Baba Bholenath and with the cooperation of the people, we are fast moving towards a better and more controlled state. But it will surely not be a good decision to open the temple. I apologise to Baba Bholenath,¨ he said.

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A delegation of Panda Dharmarakshini Sabha, Deoghar, an organization of Baba Baidyanath Dham priests, met the CM at the Jharkhand Secretariat today. The delegates apprised the CM of various issues affecting them and sought financial assistance from the government.

Soren assured the delegation of taking appropriate steps to address their concerns. He said several lakh devotees visit Deoghar during Shravani Mela every year and hence the threat of fast spread of Corona virus could not be ruled out. The Deoghar district administration has been directed to take pre-emptive measures in this regard, he said.

Yesterday, hearing on a public interest litigation (PIL) was held in the Jharkhand High Court on the issue of organizing Shravani Mela. After hearing the petitioner, state government and the Baidyanath temple management committee chairman, the HC bench, headed by Chief Justice of Jharkhand, reserved its verdict for 3rd July 2020.

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BJP MP Nishikant Dubey has filed the PIL while demanding that the state government should permit the temple to organize Shravani Mela this year.

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