Haridwar Police swings into action over Covid-19 norms violation in Har Ki Pauri
While Uttarakhand government is not allowing Char Dham-Kanwar pilgrimage citing the Covid-19 situation, reports of mass violation of Covid-19 norms emerge from Har Ki Pauri Ganga ghats. Officials fear, if unchecked, such incidents may make Har Ki Pauri emerge as a mini covid spreader again.
In a video that recently went viral on social media, a group of youths from other states were seen partying at the Ganga ghat in Har ki Pauri.
Taking cognizance of the violation, SSP Haridwar D Senthil Aboodai Krishan directed the Har Ki Pauri police post in-charge and city police station house officer to ensure no such violations take place at Har Ki Pauri.
“We have lodged a case against two youths - Himanshu Vadhwa, resident of Rohini in Delhi, and Jitendra Kumar of Kasganz, Uttar Pradesh - who were partying at Malviya Ganga ghat at Har Ki Pauri. The case has been lodged under the Disaster Management Act for organising a birthday party on the intervening night of May 4. We appeal to local people and pilgrims to inform local police if they spot any such illegal acts and violation of Covid-19 guidelines at Ganga ghats,” said station house officer (SHO) city police station Rajesh Shah.
The police have now started levying penalties on people for not wearing face masks.
He further added that police personnel are also appealing and generating awareness about the importance and need of adhering to social distancing norms.
Police have now increased patrolling at Har Ki Pauri after resentment by local priests and saint community over hurting of religious sentiments due to incidents of partying and dancing at Har Ki Pauri, Ganga ghats.
Ganga Sabha, which manages the affairs of Har Ki Pauri Ganga ghat, has also strongly objected to the incident of partying at Ganga ghats.
The Kumbh Mela was curtailed this year but devotees thronged Haridwar for months despite experts saying the crowds and rampant violation of Covid protocol could spark a surge in infections. Roughly 9.1 million pilgrims took the holy dip in the Ganga from January 14 to April 27, including at least six million people in April, coinciding with the worst surge in the second wave of the pandemic.