A day after seeking clarification from the state government about its order allowing places of worship to reopen from June 1, the Bengal Imams’ Association on Saturday appealed to clerics to keep mosques closed for now.
In a statement, the association’s chairperson Mohammad Yahya said, “We prayed at home for the last two months. If needed then it should be done for a few more days. With due respect to the government’s announcement, we appeal to all imams to avoid public gathering in mosques. We need to monitor the present situation for some more days. If the situation improves, then we will make a fresh appeal to you.”
The appeal was supported by the members of the Nakhoda Masjid and the Tipu Sultan Masjid Committee, two of the most prominent mosques here.
On Friday, Yahya had welcomed the government’s move but sought clarification about how the limit of 10 worshippers would be implemented.
“As things stand now only five persons can be inside a mosque during prayers since the coronavirus lockdown [began in March]. In the entire Ramzan month, people prayed from their homes. Now the news of mosques being allowed to open from June 1 has reached the people and I am receiving phone calls. A larger number of people will now come to the mosque during prayer time from Monday. So how to deal with them?” he had asked.
In Saturday’s statement, Yahya said mosques should not be thrown open till “we get a clarification on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s announcement”. People would not be inconvenienced if these places of religious worship remained shut for a few more days, the association added.
Meanwhile, sources said Tarapith Kali Temple in Birbhum district and Dakshineswar Kali Temple in North 24 Parganas district had decided to remain shut for 15 more days.
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