In view of the ensuing festivals, the Centre Friday asked the states and Union Territories to strictly adhere to the ongoing 21-day lockdown and not allow any social or religious gathering and procession. In a statement today, the Union Home Ministry also said that appropriate vigil on social media should be maintained against circulation of any objectionable content.
The official statement read, “In view of the ensuing festivals in the month of April, the home ministry has directed all states and union territories to ensure strict compliance of lockdown measures to fight COVID-19 and not allow any social, religious gathering or procession.”
While Shab-e-Barat was on Thursday, today is Good Friday. Baisakhi, Rongali Bihu, Vishu, Poila Boishakh, Puthandu, Maha Vishuba Sankranti etc., are also in April.
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It adds that for any violation of the lockdown measures, action under the relevant penal provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and Indian Penal Code (IPC) should be taken by the law-enforcing agencies. The consolidated guidelines on the lockdown measures to be taken by the ministries and departments of the government of India, states and Union territories for the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country were notified by the home ministry on March 24, 25, 27, April 2 and 3.
Clauses 9 and 10 of the consolidated guidelines state that no religious congregation will be allowed without any exception and all social, cultural, religious functions and gatherings shall be barred. The home ministry communicated to the states and UTs to inform the district authorities and field agencies about the specific prohibitions as mentioned in the consolidated guidelines on lockdown measures.
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