Ayodhya, March 15 (IANS) The shadow of the deadly novel coronavirus now looms large over the annual Ram Navami Mela that is held during ‘Navratri in Ayodhya.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had planned to turn the Ram Navami celebrations into a mega event this year in view of the beginning of the Ram temple construction in the holy city.
Ayodhya Chief Medical Officer Ghanshyam Singh, said: “Since it has been advised by the Chief Minister to avoid all gatherings, we are talking to the administrative brass on the threat and risk in holding the Ram Navami Mela this year.”
He said that it would be impossible to screen a gathering of lakhs of devotees coming to the event.
Another medical official further pointed out that it would not be possible to provide masks to all devotees to prevent the virus infection from spreading.
District Magistrate Anuj Jha however, ruled out the possibility of cancelling the event.
“We will take all precautions, issue advisory to the devotees but there is no talk of cancelling the event,” he said.
The Ram Navami Mela which is schedule to begin form March 25, attracts lakhs of devotees from all over the country.
Thousands of government officials and police personnel are deployed to oversee arrangements during the event.
A VHP leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “We are caught in a piquant situation because the event cannot be postponed at any cost. However, there is no denying the fact that the risk will be high because of the huge congregation of lakhs of devotees.”
The celebrations, this year, will be marked by the shifting of the Ram Lalla idol to a fibre structure in the Manas Bhavan to clear the Ram Janmabhoomi land for temple construction.