Pushkar Singh Dhami, Uttarakhand BJP

Uttarakhand cracks down on tourists ‘disturbing sanctity of religious places’

World News

Uttarakhand Police has launched a special operation to crack down on tourists found creating a nuisance or indulging in indecent acts at religious places, especially around Ganga ghats.

Since Operation Maryada was kicked off on Friday, the police have arrested six people for smoking hukkah at Ganga ghats and fined 16 others for littering. Three of them were nabbed from Har Ki Pauri ghat in Haridwar on Friday and three from Rishikesh on Saturday.

According to the police, the operation was launched after several videos showing tourists smoking hukkah near the Ganga in Haridwar went viral. At least 25 tourists were arrested in Haridwar for the same in the last few days.

DGP Ashok Kumar said in a video message, “We welcome all tourists coming to the state to visit revered religious places and other tourist spots. However, in recent days some videos came up in which some tourists were seen disturbing the sanctity of religious places by drinking alcohol and other indecent activities. Such acts will not be tolerated… the operation has been launched under which strict action would be taken against all such people.”

The DGP said the operation would continue for 15 days.

DIG (law and order) Nilesh Anand Bharne said, “The operation is not to disturb tourists unnecessarily but only to stop those indulging in indecent activities, which goes against the traditional values of the religious places. Stress is on police action in the first 15 days, but further awareness programme like signature and pledge campaigns will be launched.”

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