'Media houses to be punished if they publish photographs of women bathing at Kumbh Mela'

Kumbh Mela is the largest human congregation in the world, with lakhs of pilgrims participating in the festival with the belief that taking a dip at the holy Sangam.

Published: 09th February 2019 04:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th February 2019 11:03 AM   |  A+A-

Naga Sadhus take a holy dip at Sangam on the auspicious 'Mauni Amavasya' day during the Kumbh Mela. (Photo: PTI)

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: The Allahabad High Court on Saturday issued directives to the authorities concerned to ensure that no photographs of women devotees taking a dip at Sangam during the ongoing Kumbh Mela were published in media—neither print nor visual.

Passing the order, the court also warned those who would be found flouting this norm of strictest action.

“The pictures will not be published either in print or visual media,” said the bench comprising Justice PKS Baghel and Justice Pankaj Bhatia. The bench added: “If any publication is done, an action shall be taken against the publisher by the Court.”

Expressing their displeasure, a bench took the Mela organisers to task over the violation of a former court order which prohibits photography within 100 metres of the bathing ghat. The court's orders came on a plea filed by one Aseem Kumar in this regard. The case has been posted for next hearing on April 5.

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The court order will b'Bhule Bhatke': Reuniting Kumbh Mela's lost people since 1946ecome effective immediately and assumes significance in the wake of fourth Shahi Snana due on Sunday, February 10, 2019 on the occasion of Basant Panchami at ongoing Kumbh mela at Prayagraj.

At least, two crore devotees are expected to take a holy dip in river Ganga during the basant Panchami. The magnitude of the mela could be gauged by the mere fact that during the last Shahi Snan on Mauni Amavasya on February 4, 4019, over 5 crore people had taken the holy dip at the Sangam.

On Thursday, attendees at the Kumbh Mela re-initiated the 'Prayag Panchkoshi Parikrama', reportedly after decades.

In the wake of the high court directives, a senior superintendent of police (Kumbh) directed the cops and other security personnel deployed in the mela area to ensure that no one clicked pictures at the bathing ghats.

A senior official added that notice boards were put up with the warning of the High Court’s directive over the ban on photography imposed near the bathing ghats.

An additional Kumbh Mela officer said that the High court prohibition included photojournalists, media persons and also electronic media journalists who would not be allowed to film the bathing anymore.

Allahabad Divisional Commissioner Devesh Chaturvedi, confirmed the ban on photography near bathing ghtas. The biggest congregation of humanity on earth, Kumbh Mela had commenced on January 15, 2019, with makrsankranti in Prayagraj.

The 50-day event comrpsisng of six shahi snans, would end with mahashivratri on March 4. The Mela figures on the list of ‘intangible cultural heritage of humanity.’ The total funds allocated by the state government for the Kumbh Mela is Rs 4,200 crore, which is more than three times the budget of the Maha
Kumbh in 2013, making the mega pilgrimage perhaps the costliest ever.

Around 15 crore people from across the globe are expected to throng Prayagraj during Kumbh mela.

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