New Delhi: Devotees at Kailash Mansarovar are not being allowed to take a holy dip in the Mansarovar Lake, alleges a priest, who is leading a delegation of devotees from India. In a video posted on Twitter, Sanjeev Thakur said that China has issued an order in this regard, but Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj refuted the claim.
“There are around 50-80 devotees accompanying me. Over 3,000 people from across the world are undertaking this pilgrimage. But according to an order by China, we are not being allowed to take a holy dip in the Mansarovar Lake,” Mr Thakur claimed in the video.
If we are not being allowed, why were we issued visas and permits? he asked and told news agency ANI, “We won’t leave this place if we aren’t allowed to perform the ritual.”
However, Ms Swaraj said that no one can take a dip “just anywhere in the river”. “There is always a designated place where you can take a bath,” she said while addressing a press conference in Delhi on the completion of four years of the NDA government.
Thousands of Indian pilgrims undertake the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra every year. The tour is organised by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) between June and September in cooperation with the Chinese government through two different routes — Lipulekh Pass (Uttarakhand) and Nathu La Pass (Sikkim).
The Nathu La route was opened to Indian pilgrims in 2015. After crossing over the pass, the pilgrims are ferried to Kailash.
(With inputs from ANI)