NEW DELHI: The Vishva Hindu Parishad on Sunday objected to the Kerala government’s decision to relax Covid restrictions in view of Eid-ul-Azha, which will be celebrated on July 21, saying it poses a “huge” public health challenge.
The Uttarakhand government recently cancelled the annual Kanwar Yatra in view of the possibility of a third wave of the Covid pandemic hitting the country, the outfit’s working president Alok Kumar told reporters.
Kerala’s decision poses “a huge public health challenge” and it will weaken the nation’s fight against the pandemic, he said.
The Uttar Pradesh government had first decided to allow the Kanwar Yatra with certain restrictions, but later cancelled the annual pilgrimage “accepting that right to life is paramount”, after the Supreme Court took suo motu cognisance of the matter, Kumar said.
Restrictions have been relaxed for three days in Kerala, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) said and hoped that the apex court will take cognisance of the matter.
“We are surprised that even after all these developments in the public domain, the Kerala chief minister announced that there will not be any restriction during the three days of Eid-ul-Azha. Malls, theatres, markets will remain open,” the VHP leader said.
“This is going to be a huge public health challenge. This will weaken the nation’s fight against the Covid pandemic. I hope that the Supreme Court would take suo motu cognizance of this too and avert a major threat to public health in the country,” he added.
Earlier, During the meeting with the chief minister, KVVES representatives led by T Naseeruddin demanded that all shops be allowed to function throughout the week. Citing Bakrid and the Onam season that follows, they said the traders see these festivals as their last ray of hope for survival. They said the traders across the state had lost business during Onam in the last three years owing to Covid and flood.
The CM replied that time was not ripe for relaxing all restrictions. A formula to allow opening of shops for three days ahead of Bakrid was arrived at during the discussion. By next Wednesday, the expert committee will meet to review lockdown restrictions.
This story first appeared on newindianexpress.com