Corona Mata temple demolished in UP'  Juhi Shukulapur village

Pratapgarh: A 'Corona Mata temple that had come up in Juhi Shukulapur village under the limits of Sangipur police station in Pratapgarh district has been demolished by the district administration.

A probe has also been ordered regarding the construction of 'Corona Mata' temple.

According to Inspector general of police, Prayagraj range, K P Singh, the police administration has removed the 'Corona Mata' temple from the village to prevent people from getting trapped in superstitious activities.

He said that the police teams are also making efforts to create awareness among masses regarding Covid-19, claiming that it is a deadly virus and they should not get involved themselves in such superstitious things.

The IG also said that police administration has also ordered a probe into issue after a man from village, Nagesh Kumar Srivastava, has submitted an application to Sangipur police station claiming that his brother, Lokesh Kumar, staying in Ghaziabad, had set up 'Corona Mata' temple without consultation of other family members and went back to Ghaziabad after construction of the temple.

Police said that 'Corona Mata' temple had come up at Shuklapur village in Pratapgarh district three days back and hundreds of villagers had started offering prayers to ward off Corona virus.

The temple was in fact built by a group of villagers after collecting donations. The villagers had started offering prayers to Corona Mata praying that the "shadow of Covid-19 should never fall on Shuklapur and adjoining villages".

Not only this, they also highlighted the importance of Covid-19 protocol like use of masks and social distancing while offering prayers at the temple. The idol too wore a mask.

Villagers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, claimed, "After witnessing the Corona virus pandemic and its deadly impact which snatched lives of thousands of people, we decided to set up Corona Mata mandir under a 'neem' tree with full belief that praying to the deity would definitely offer respite to people from the deadly disease."

The little white stone idol has been placed on the wall in the open temple.

With the installation of the idol, daily prayers were being organised and villagers were seeking blessings to save people from the deadly disease.

Radhe Shyam, the temple priest, said, "We have earlier heard the name of 'Chechak Mata' (smallpox mother) who cured the disease. Similarly, we had set up Corona Mata mandir with the belief that Mata would solve all the difficulties. We collected funds from the villagers."

He said, however, this was not the first time such a temple has come up in the country. "When plague and other deadly diseases like smallpox spread across villages and towns and killed many people years back, people also worshipped in a similar manner."

Villagers claimed that devotees were not allowed to touch the idol and offered only yellow flowers to the goddess.

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