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The Uttarakhand High Court came down heavily on the state government for not ensuring that COVID protocols were followed while holding religious events like Kumbh Mela and Char Dham Yatra in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), a bench of Chief Justice R.S. Chauhan and Justice Alok Verma said, “First we make the mistake of Kumbh Mela, then there is Char Dham. Why do we repeatedly cause embarrassment to ourselves?”

Taking into account videos on social media of the priests’ movement in Badrinath and Kedarnath without following the social distancing norms, the Court expressed its displeasure at the states’ “negligence”.

“Go and see what is happening. In the video of Kedarnath and Badrinath temples, priests are not following social distancing. Even for worshipping, you cannot allow 23 priests to enter the temple, take the chopper and see what is happening in Badrinath-Kedarnath,” the Court said.

The court further said that they are “ashamed when asked about what is happening to the people of the state.”
“What shall we say? It is not my business to decide. This work belongs to the government. You can fool the court but you cannot fool the people. The state government is playing with the lives of millions of people, the state government is negligent,” the Court said.

The next hearing in the matter is scheduled for June 9. (ANI)