The government in Uttar Pradesh has gone out of its way to make the kanwar yatra comfortable, even at the cost of causing some others financial loss. Reports say, like last year, the Uttar Pradesh administration has enforced a ban on sale of non-vegetarian food along the route of the kanwar yatra.
The Indian Express reports that restaurants are selling 'veg biriyani' and 'veg haleem' even at the cost of losing loyal customers only to cater to the vegetarian sensibilities of those undertaking the kanwar yatra. The restaurants have taken a financial hit since their regular customers have stopped coming and those taking the kanwar yatra have also not come to eat at their restaurants.
This is reminiscent of last year, when the police in Dadri had forced shops to shut down because of the Kanwar Yatra.
Abdul Rehman , the owner of a restaurant in Meerut's Ghantaghar told the newspaper, "This year, the administration ordered all non-vegetarian restaurants to shut down for 13 days because of the Kanwar yatra. Till last year, we were asked to shut down only for a day, on Shivratri. So we decided to keep our restaurants open but not serve any non-vegetarian food."
However, the SP of Meerut, Kumar Ran Vijay Singh, denied any such diktat and said that the restaurants would shut every year on their own accord.
The SP's comments denying the direction is tough to believe as it comes only days after the police in Meerut were allegedly seen checking food in restaurants themselves to ensure that they were not serving non-vegetarian food.
Singh had told The Times of India not even a week ago, "Through surprise checks, we have been ensuring that no non-vegetarian food is served at any restaurant on the Kanwar Yatra route."
The police in Meerut were also seen showering rose petals on Kanwar pilgrims, and the Yogi Adityanath government is said to have spend a whopping Rs 14 lakh for this feat.
News118 reported that while an order from the home department had approved the hiring of a chopper to keep strict vigil on the kanwarias to ensure their safety, it had not mandated showering them with rose petals.
Before the top cops, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had also reviewed the Kanwar yatra from a chopper.
The UP government has come under harsh criticism for their excesses over the Kanwar yatra.