New Delhi: Urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reopen temples and pilgrimage centres, an all-India organisation of priests have written to the PM that the novel coronavirus is an asur (demon) and can only be killed by divine forces. Also Read - Uttar Pradesh News: State Govt Releases 2257 Convicts on Parole For 8 Weeks to Decongest jails

If all temples, shrines and pilgrimage centres are reopened, the coronavirus cannot do any harm (kuch nahi bigad sakta hay), Akhil Bhartiya Tirth Purohit Mahasabha national president Mahesh Pathak said in a letter to the prime minister on Saturday. He said the closure of temples has also adversely impacted the economic condition of priests and demanded special financial package for them. Also Read - On CM Yogi's Remark on Labourers Returning to Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's Sharp Retort

In his letter to the prime minister, Pathak said the religious sites can be reopened with some restrictions under the present circumstances. Also Read - Lockdown 4.0: After Fresh Spike in Cases, Ghaziabad to Seal Border With Delhi Once Again

The government has banned congregations and closed temples and other religious sites, besides schools, colleges, malls and factories, to check the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has infected more than 85,000 people and killed over 2,750 in the country so far.

Pathak said India is perhaps facing the wrath of deities as they have been treated at par with factories during the ongoing lockdown.

“Coronavirus is an asur (demon) and it can only be killed by divine forces. I am quite sure divinity would rescue devotees from the coronavirus after joint prayers,” he told reporters here.

He said the closure of temples and shrines has widened the distance between gods and devotees, and the separation cannot be erased through prayers at home.

He said though the portals of Char Dham’ temples have been opened in Uttarakhand, entry of devotees has been banned. The organisation has requested the prime minister to bring priests and pandas’ (religious guides) under the umbrella of an economic package being provided by the government to different categories of people.

Source: PTI