Calcutta High Court Allows Religious Festival Despite Covid Concerns


Devotees immersing themselves in the Ganges River during the Kumbh Mela festival in April last year. — AP file photo

KOLKATA — The Calcutta Hugh Court ourt on Friday rejected a bid to cancel a major Hindu festival despite fears the vast gathering could spread coronavirus infections as the country sees an Omicron-driven surge in cases.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend the annual Gangasagar Mela festival, which begins on Saturday on an island where the river Ganges enters the Bay of Bengal.

It marks the harvest season and will reach a climax next weekend ahead of the new moon on January 17.

Kolkata-based doctor Avinandan Mondal sought a court order to ban the festival over coronavirus concerns, with infection rates surging in a country that saw a deadly wave last year.

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