PATNA—The Bihar government has decided to ban any kind of public celebrations for Shravani Mela and Sawan Mahotsav in the state amid Covid-19.
The announcement was made by Akhilesh Jain, who is the chairman of Bihar State Religious Trust Board. Jain said the state government has curtailed any religious celebrations till the month of August in view of the possible third wave of Covid-19.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has warned the citizens that the next bout of the pandemic could hit the country in late August.
Jain noted that all public programs related to the Shravani Mela or Sawan Mahotsav have been completely banned in Bihar, and appealed to the people to celebrate the occasions from the safety of their homes.
Devotees are barred from fetching holy water from Ganga river in Bhagalpur and Sultanganj. Only priests will be offering prayers inside the temple premises every morning and evening.
The religious board chairman urged people to continue supporting the government by taking all the precautions and not venture out for religious celebrations. The Shravani Mela was cancelled last year too due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Bihar government has also prohibited any public celebrations on Eid-ul-Adha. Devotees will not be allowed to offer namaz at any mosque. The Wakf board has issued a circular asking mosques to not hold any mass prayers for the occasion.
All the sub divisional officers (SDOs), block development officers (BDOs) and circle officers (COs) have been directed to ensure adherence to Covid-19 protocols and peaceful celebrations in their respective jurisdictions.
The Bihar government has also prohibited Kanwar Yatris from offering prayers at temples due to Covid-19. The kanwar yatra has already been cancelled by the Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi governments.