25,000 turn out for last Kumbh shahi snan | India News – Times of India

HARIDWAR: Amidst the massive surge in Covid-19 cases, the last shahi snan of the Maha Kumbh on the ocassion of Chaitra Purnima on Tuesday was a relatively muted affair compared to the previous shahi snans.
In the morning, when the shahi snan ritual started, it was being estimated that the turnout would be around 3 lakh. Officials announced by evening that around 25,000 people had participated in the shahi snan till 5 pm.

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Even 3 lakh or even 25,000 is too large a number of people congregating at the height of a deadly epidemic. With mounting deaths all around, especially in the past fortnight, the state government should have ensured that the last shahi snan was a symbolic event. Now one can only hope that this doesn’t turn out to be a superspreader event.

Sanjay Gunjyal, IG (Kumbh), told TOI, “Seers of all the 13 akhadas reached Harki-Pauri in limited numbers. Around 25,000 pilgrims and seers participated in the last shahi snan. All Covid-19 protocols and other SOPs were strictly enforced.” The sanyasi akhadas—Niranjani and Anand — took the first dip, followed by Juna, Agni, Ahavan, Mahanirvani and Atal akhadas.

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