Ahead of Eid, a few political and social organisations are divided over the prospect of re-opening mosques on the festive day amid Coronavirus outbreak.
The Gujarat Chand Committee associated with the Shahi Jama Masjid of Ahmedabad has written a letter to Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani demanding that mosques be allowed to open on the occasion of Eid.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Mufti Shabbir Alam, president of Gujarat Chand Committee, said, “Eid comes once a year and so, we have requested the CM that if there is no threat then the devotees be allowed to offer namaz in mosques. However, this permission should be given only if there is no harm in assembling at mosques because we have to look after our lives, country and imaan (faith).”
Reacting to the letter sent by Chand Committee, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Gujarat has also written a letter to the CM criticising the request made by the committee.
In the letter written by Ashok Rawal, general secretary of VHP Gujarat, the organisation has termed the request by Chand committee as “utterly shameful and condemnable” and has asked the CM to decline the request.
“At a time when the entire country has united to fight against the pandemic, the Gujarat Chand Committee has requested to open mosques on the occasion of Eid. It is utterly shameful and condemnable and we request the CM to not give permission for it,” said Rawal in the letter.
In Bhavnagar, the minority department of Bhavnagar District Congress has also written a letter to the CM requesting him to allow people to visit each others’ homes on the occasion of Eid. The letter written by Akbar Khimani, district head, minority department of Bhavnagar District Congress, has mentioned that areas in Bhavnagar such as Bhilwada circle, Sandhiyawad, Memnawad, Ranika, limdiwali sadak, Yusuf Bagh, Jamna Kund, Pinjrawad and Kachiyawad have not had any new coronavirus cases in a long time and barriers have been installed in these localities, branding them as containment zones. Khimani has requested for these barriers to be removed and the areas be termed as orange zone.
Zahid Hussain Qadri, chairman of Ganj Shahid Kabristan in Danilimda, has criticised the stance of Gujarat Chand Committee and said, “We are against this act of seeking permission to re-open mosques for Eid. For the past one month during Ramzan, all mosques are closed and due to lockdown, we haven’t been able to procure even fruits which are essential during this festive period. Re-opening of mosques will only give Muslims a bad name as was the case in Markaz of New Delhi where the government allowed the event to continue despite their knowledge. Assembling at mosques will fail the purpose of lockdown and the Chand committee should rather write letters to the CM regarding the atrocities committed by the police in Shahpur.”
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