Uttar Pradesh gears up for 'kanwar yatra'

Uttar Pradesh gears up for 'kanwar yatra'

With the ‘kanwar yatra’ (carrying of Ganges waters by hindu devotees for offerings at Shiva temples) season barely days away, directives have been issued to the security personnel to be on the alert and take measures to maintain law and order, especially in the communally sensitive districts.

UP police chief Javeed Ahmed presided over a meeting of the senior police officials in Moradabad to discuss the security arrangements all along the important routes, which were used by lakhs of 'kanwarias' (devotees) during the season. Ahmed, according to the sources here, directed the officials to maintain a high level of alert in view of the recent terror attack in the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka and also in view of the Eid festivities.

Sources said that the issue of use of DJ (Disc Jockey) by the devotees during the 'yatra' was also discussed and it was decided that it should be permitted unless there was an apprehension that it could foment communal passion.

Use of DJ has been a bone of contention between the devotees and the administration. The sound of music often interfered with the prayers of the other community and on many occasions it triggered violence also.

The Allahabad high court had also directed that there would be no use of DJ during the 'kanwar yatra'. Controversial saffron leader Sadhvi Prachi has however declared that she will ensure that DJ was used by the devotees.

Sources said that security personnel in strength would be deployed along the ‘yatra’ routes in Varanasi, Allahabad, Moradabad, Bijnore, Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur, Meerut, Baghpat and other communally sensitive districts.

The western districts were considered to be more sensitive as a large number of devotees travel to Hardwar in Uttarakhand and carry the sacred Ganges waters from there to be offered at Lord Shiva.

“We are keeping a close watch on the anti-social elements and will take stern action against any one who tries to foment communal passion”.

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