In Uttar Pradesh’s Allahabad, Muslims are willfully demolishing a mosque to help with a road-widening project. Reportedly, the mosque was built on government land and needed to be razed to support Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s plans for the Kumbh Mela next year.
“The sections which were built on government lands have been demolished. The government is widening the roads ahead of Kumbh Mela and we support it. We have done this by our own will,” said a worker assisting with the demolishing.
Locals stepped in after being approached by the Allahabad Development Authority, which convinced them to support the project as some sections of several religious buildings were creating an obstruction for the road work.
The Yogi Adityanath government has made plans to widen roads, among other developmental projects, to ensure lesser chaos with the volume of devotees expected to visit the city.
Allahabad: Muslims have demolished parts of various mosques in old city area as they were built on govt land, say, ‘we have done this by our own will. These sections were built on govt land have been demolished. Govt is widening roads ahead of Kumbh mela & we support it.’ pic.twitter.com/9yJHgaqfKb
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) July 3, 2018
What is Kumbh Mela?
The Kumbh Mela is held every 12 years at the confluence of the rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati in Allahabad. The first ‘shahi snan’ of the Kumbh Mela is to be held on January 15, 2019, on the occasion of Makar Sankranti. The second ‘shahi snan’ will be held on February 4 on Mauni Amavasya followed by the third, which will be held on February 10 on Basant Panchami.
Adityanath has been making efforts to promote the holy pilgrimage internationally and also blamed the previous governments for not helping the Kumbh Mela get global recognition. “In the past, efforts were made to present a distorted picture of the Kumbh. But thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it has got an international recognition. All the seers should bless Modi,” he had said.
Recently, a curtain raiser was organised at the British Parliament for the Kumbh Mela. A series of roadshows and events were also held across the city of London to help promote the festival. “Kumbh is a religious and cultural festival that leaves an impression on the whole world. It is said to be the world’s largest religious gathering where millions of people come together to celebrate knowledge and devotion,” Kumbh Mela Advisory Committee Advisor Rakesh Shukla had said at the occasion.