On Friday, several Muslim leaders, including elected representatives, expressed disappointment for failing to get a fresh set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) from the state government for ferrying animals for the ritualistic sacrifice.
“While the state government had directed that goats be purchased online, for the sacrifice, animals had to be brought to Mumbai. However, over the last few days vehicles carrying animals were stopped at various places by the police, who expressed their helplessness. We tried to reach out to all leaders, but without success. I would apologise to the people for not being able to make the government see our point of view,” Congress MLA from Bandra East, Zeeshan Siddique, said.
Former MLA Yusuf Abrahani Friday staged a protest outside Azad Maidan after the state government refused to grant any relaxations for the festival.
In a host of guidelines, issued for the festival, the state government had earlier urged the people to offer symbolic sacrifices this year in view of the Covid-19 outbreak, but had allowed sale of animals on the Internet or through calls. It had also cancelled sale of animals at the prominent Deonar market. Over the last week, several trucks ferrying animals for sale into the city were stopped by the police and turned away. Traders alleged it had led to the death of several animals.
Wishing people for Eid-al-Adha, Samajwadi Party leader and Mankhurd MLA Abu Asim Azmi said, “The inconvenience caused to the people for Eid celebration as the Maharashtra government backtracked on its promise will not go waste.”
Meanwhile, Congress MLA from Mumbadevi, Amin Patel, said, “We had tried our best but have been let down by the state government.” Congress is a part of the three-party alliance government in the state. Patel said he has urged the people to celebrate Eid in a low-key manner with proper disposal of garbage “for which dustbins have been provided at all locations in Mumbadevi constituency”.
On Friday, the city police urged the Quresh community to ensure that no animal sacrifice took place in the open and social-distancing norms were strictly adhered to. To avoid mass congregation, the state government has also urged people to offer namaz at their home.
According to Gulrez Qureshi, city president of All Jamaitul Quresh, people have been issued a token based on which only two members from a family will come with their animals for performing the sacrifice. “We have urged all people to ensure strict social distancing and wear their mask even while distributing meat among their friends and family,” said Gulrez.
The Bombay High Court had also directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to issue a circular, by Friday evening, indicating regulatory steps and procedures to be followed at Deonar Abattoir for Eid. The BMC subsequently allowed the sacrifice of 150 water buffaloes at the abattoir between 6 am and 6 pm with strict social-distancing and hygiene standards. This will be allowed between August 1 and 3.
The court, while hearing a plea filed by Al-Quereshi Human Welfare Association, had said, “The celebrations have to be on a lower scale this time due to the pandemic situation.”
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