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In Pictures: Massive crowds gather at Gangasagar Mela to take holy dip despite COVID-19 surge

08:27 PM Jan 13, 2022 | Aritra Singha

Kolkata: The two-member committee including retired judge Samapti Chatterjee and West Bengal Legal Authority’s Raju Mukherjee, who has been constituted by the Calcutta High Court to monitor the Gangasagar Mela visited the fairgrounds on Wednesday and claimed that no more people should be sent to the fair as it is already crowded.

According to the sources of the committee, despite setting up several checkpoints people in large numbers are gathering to take the ‘holy dip’ at the confluence.

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“After viewing the situation the committee members are surprised to see such gatherings in the ongoing pandemic. They have requested the administration not to send more people,” said the sources.

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Incidentally, two ministers including Sashi Panja, Firhad Hakim also visited Gangasagar to take stock of the situation.

Meanwhile, the Naga saints who were seen not wearing masks claimed that Covid won’t affect them due to their lifestyle.

“We are close to God and due to our lifestyle we will not be affected by Covid. On the contrary we will pray so that nobody gets affected by Covid,” several Naga saints were heard saying when they were asked to put on their masks.

However, several doctors of the state had earlier requested the administration to cancel the fair this year and warned that the fair could be a ‘super spreader’ of the pandemic’s third wave.

Dr. Kajal Krishna Banik claimed that the outcome of the fair will be ‘deadly’. “Two more days are still left for the fair to get over. The alarming number of people including the saints will trigger the number of affected people. There is no social distancing and most of the pandemic protocols are being broken,” said Banik.

BJP spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya also slammed the state government for conducting the fair and claimed that the Gangasagar Mela can be ‘detrimental’ for the people of the state.

Check out the pictures:

Pilgrims perform rituals on a beach during the Hindu religious festival of Gangasagar Mela on Sagar Island, some 150 km south of Kolkata, West Bengal, on January 13, 2022.
Pilgrims rest as they wait to perform rituals on a beach during the Hindu religious festival of Gangasagar Mela on Sagar Island, some 150 km south of Kolkata, West Bengal, on January 13, 2022.
Pilgrims perform rituals during the Hindu religious festival of Gangasagar Mela on Sagar Island, some 150 km south of Kolkata, West Bengal, on January 13, 2022.
Pilgrims perform rituals on a beach during the Hindu religious festival of Gangasagar Mela on Sagar Island, some 150 km south of Kolkata, West Bengal, on January 13, 2022.
Pilgrims arrive to offer prayers at a temple during the Hindu religious festival of Gangasagar Mela on Sagar Island, some 150 km south of Kolkata, West Bengal, on January 13, 2022.
TOPSHOT - Pilgrims perform rituals as they pray at the beach during the Hindu religious festival of Gangasagar Mela on Sagar Island, some 150 kilometers south of Kolkata, West Bengal, on January 13, 2022.

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