Dehradun: On Tuesday, the Panch Mandir Samiti of Gangotri Dham had taken the decision not to allow pilgrims from outside the state to visit the temple till 15th August due to Covid-19 after a meeting of the Gangotri Dham Temple Committee, Purohit, and Sadhu Samaj. The Community has also decided to set up 2-km long barriers before the shrine and paste a poster consisting of details about closing the shrine.
The Chardham Devasthanam Board being disagreed with this decision has warned of strict legal action against the individuals who stop pilgrims from outside Uttarakhand to visit the Gangotri Dham.
As the cases of Covid-19 are growing rapidly in the country, the Panch Mandir Samiti, a group of priests and purohits of Gangotri, decided that the shrines will remain closed till 15th August and the entry of pilgrims and devotees will be prohibited due to the public safety measures. Over 1000 cases have been reported from the state for last week.
Suresh Semwal, chairman of Gangotri Dham Temple Committee has informed the district magistrate of Uttarkashi in this regard through a memorandum which consists:
“Earlier, the temple was closed for darshan, now; we will block the entrance of the shrine by setting up barriers two-kilometers ahead and prohibit the entry of anyone towards the shrine. We have decided this to prevent the community-spread of Covid-19 in this area,” said Suresh Semwal.
The Priests and teerth-Purohit have been warned and asked by the district magistrate of Uttarkashi to retreat the decision. The Chardham Devasthanam Board CEO Ravinth Raman has told the PTI group, “The decision is illegal. It invites stern punitive action including imprisonment and a fine for those behind it. The Panch Mandir Samiti has no right to decide this.”
“If any misbehavior with pilgrims is reported from Gangotri or anywhere else we will act tough,” the board CEO said.
The Devasthanam Board had opened the Char Dham Yatra for pilgrims outside the state from July 24 to give a stimulus to the journey hit badly by the global pandemic.
The Devasthanam Board oversees 51 sanctuaries in Uttarakhand, including the Char Dham.