As cases surge, Ayodhya administration calls off Ram Navami Mela

2 weeks ago 26
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AYODHYA: The Ayodhya district administration decided on Saturday to call off the April 21 Ram Navami Mela due to the lethal Covid surge in Uttar Pradesh coupled with fervent appeals from senior Ayodhya seers.
The mela witnesses a mammoth gathering at Ram Janmabhoomi and the banks of the Saryu on the last day of Navratra. Ayodhya’s borders will be sealed and nobody will be allowed to enter. Mahant Jugal Kishore Sharan Shastry, the chief priest of Saryu Kunj temple, said, “Holding the Haridwar kumbh was a big mistake and we cannot afford a repeat in Ayodhya.”
The fear was compounded by the surge in Covid cases at the Haridwar Kumbh. The district administration directed devotees to celebrate Ram Navami at home and curtailed pilgrim presence at temples.
District magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha told TOI, “Our priority is to break the corona chain. We have banned all gatherings in Ayodhya.” The administration has ensured low-key celebrations in the town. Ram Ki Paidi, on the banks of the Saryu, which would be crammed with pilgrims at least 10 days before Ram Navami, wears a deserted look. Bathing in the Saryu has been banned and entry points to the river barricaded.
Acharya Satyendra Das, chief priest of the Ram Janmabhoomi temple, said, “There will be only one priest, on-duty policemen and Ram Lalla Virajman.” This is the second year Ram Navami celebrations have been scrapped due to Covid.

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