Uttarakhand police launch special drive to check ‘nuisance’ at tourist places
The Uttarakhand Police on Friday began “Operation Maryada” for action against tourists creating “a nuisance” at state’s religious places after videos purportedly showing visitors smoking hookah near the Ganga in Haridwar went viral. The videos provoked outrage and prompted police to arrest at least 25 tourists.
Uttarakhand Police chief Ashok Kumar said they welcome all the tourists at revered religious places and other tourist spots. “...in the recent days some videos came up in which some tourists were seen disturbing the sanctity of the religious places by drinking alcohol and other indecent activities,” he said. “Such acts will not be tolerated at all. Tourists are expected to respect the sanctity of the religious places and the rich culture of the state. They are also expected to help in maintaining the cleanliness of such places. To stop such incidents in the state, the operation has been launched under which strict action would be taken against all such people.” He added the operation would continue for 15 days. “Those found littering tourist places would also be fined.”
Kumar asked kanwar yatra pilgrims not to come to Haridwar, citing the government’s decision to cancel the pilgrimage due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “As the state government has cancelled the kanwar yatra, we urge the pilgrims to not come to Haridwar... Any pilgrim found entering Haridwar would be put under a 14-day quarantine.” He added pilgrims coming to Haridwar would be respectfully turned back. “... there would be a prohibition on the selling of kanwar-related material... Special enforcement teams would be patrolling in Haridwar, Dehradun, Pauri Garhwal, and Tehri Garhwal districts...”