A delegation of Muslim MLAs and community leaders is planning to reach out to NCP president Sharad Pawar to seek relaxations to celebrate Eid-ul Adha or Bakri Eid on August 1 amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The delegation, to be led by Rais Shaikh, Samajwadi Party MLA from Bhiwandi, is set to request Pawar to intervene to ensure the state government reviews its recent guidelines that have prohibited the sale of animals, for the purpose of sacrifice, in open markets across Maharashtra. He has sought time to meet Pawar on Wednesday.
This comes after the Uddhav Thackeray government, in guidelines issued last week, made it clear that instead of sale of animals at Deonar mandi, Muslims will have to buy animals either online or over the phone. The state has not committed itself to providing any help in facilitating the setting up of these online markets.
Describing the guidelines as “impractical” and “ambiguous”, Shaikh said: “If one Ganpati mandal can be allowed (to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi) per ward, I am just asking for one mandi in the whole of the city.” “If a person has to transport a goat from Bhiwandi to Mumbai city in his individual capacity, in the absence of clear guidelines, how will he do it? The government should clarify this,” Rais said.
Muslim leaders have turned to Pawar, who has been a vocal proponent of allowing the resumption of normal life and lifting the stringent lockdown regulations in the state.
AIMIM MP Imtiaz Jaleel also slammed the state government’s guidelines for the upcoming festival and demanded that temporary markets to be set up for the occasion. Last week, state Home Minister Anit Deshmukh had urged Muslims to hold a symbolic sacrifice of animals and to offer namaz at homes instead of mosques. Jalil said the government should explain what it means by “symbolic’ sacrifice”.
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