EID-UL-ADHA WILL be a low-key affair in Pune this year with the state government’s guidelines to avoid festivities, and with most localities in the city being in containment zones. Financial constraints brought about by the lockdown have also limited a large section of the community from buying sacrificial animals.
Eid-ul-Adha, popularly called Bakrid in South Asia, is one of the two major annual festivals of Muslims — the other being Eid-ul-Fitr.
Ahead of Bakrid, which will be observed on August 1, the state home department issued guidelines on July 17, asking for “mellow” celebrations as has been the case with other religious festivals in the last three-and-a-half months.
According to the PMC, there are an estimated 4 lakh Muslims in the city, majority of whom are living in containment zones. These areas will remain under much more stringent restrictions and movement will be limited.
“Anything leading to violation of distancing and sanitisation norms will not be allowed. Also, at present, the availability of livestock is an issue and even if people try to procure goats or lambs for sacrifice, they will face hurdles. Slaughtering in meat markets, located in containment zones, will not be allowed. If someone has an area within the house where the ritual can be performed, it can be allowed,” said Prakash Wagh, Veterinary Officer of the PMC.
According to July 17 guidelines issued by the state home department, no congregation will be allowed at any eidgah for Eid prayers; all cattle markets will remain closed; purchase of animals should be done online or via telephone; citizens are encouraged to do a “symbolic sacrifice”; and no relaxation will be granted in containment areas for Bakrid.
Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram said the July 17 guidelines issued by the state government will be followed in the district and the Pune Police and municipal corporations will ensure that they were not violated.
“We have full cooperation from community leaders. Like Ramzan Eid, this time too, citizens will be asked to offer prayers at home. Those who want to go ahead with sacrifice and have a facility at hand, which allows the ritual without violating distancing norms, will be allowed,” Ram said.
He added that he was planning to visit some “sensitive” areas of the district to communicate with citizens later this week.
Anjum Inamdar of Kul Jamaati Tanzim said notwithstanding the appeal from the government, the Muslim community of Pune was not in favour of indulging in any festivity during such trying times.
“People are facing hardship and Covid-19 is on the rise in the city. Residents are wary of stepping out of their homes. People are not coming out for funerals. This is no time for festivities and people of the community are likely to celebrate Eid in a low-key manner. Also, sacrificial meat is shared with poor members of the community, which is not possible due to the pandemic. Considering all this, you will see a mellow Bakrid much like Eid-ul-Fitr celebrated in May,” said Inamdar.
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