VIPs urged not to visit Kumbh on major bathing days

Lucknow, Dec 21: Worried at crowd management during visits of VIPs, the Uttar Pradesh government has requested them to avoid coming to the Maha Kumbh on major bathing days.

The mega religious congregation begins in Allahabad Jan 14 on Makar Sankranti with a holy dip and will continue till March 10.

In a letter to union cabinet secretary, aide-de-camps of all governors, registrars of all state high courts, chief secretaries of union territories and states, secretaries of state assemblies and resident commissioners in New Delhi, Secretary (Protocol) Alok Kumar has urged them not to plan visits of the VIPs to the Kumbh during crowd days.

Letters have also been sent to divisional commissioner of Allahabad, the state’s director generals of police and inspector general of police (security) to ensure that officials are deterred from coming to the congregation during the major bathing days since the visits “severely impede” security drill and disturb normal functioning of the Kumbh Mela.

Similar letters have been sent to personal secretaries of all ministers and legislators.

In case such visits are planned, the state government would not be able to provide accommodation, security back-up and transit facilities, the protocol department has said.

The holy bathing dates at the Kumbh are Jan 14, Jan 27 (Paush Purnima), Feb 6 (Ekadashi), Feb 10 (Mauni Amavasya), Feb 14 (Basant Panchami), Feb 17 (Rath Saptami), Feb 18 (Bhisma Ashtami) and Feb 25 (Maghi Purnima).

The Mauni Amavasya dip is considered the most important and over 20 million people are expected to converge on Allahabad for a holy dip.