MAHARASHTRA HOME Minister Anil Deshmukh has urged people to offer namaz (prayer) during Eid-Ul-Adha or Bakri Eid, to be observed later this month, at their residence instead of visiting mosques.
In a set of guidelines, issued Friday, for the upcoming celebrations, Deshmukh also requested people to offer symbolic sacrifices instead of actual sacrifice of animals.
All the existing animal markets, the guidelines state, would remain shut and people allowed to purchase sacrificial animals online or over the phone. The guidelines, however, does not clarify on how these online markets would be set up.
Deshmukh also said the restrictions in place at the coronavirus containment zones would continue and no laxity would be extended on Bakri Eid.
People have also been directed to not congregate in public places in large numbers and cause crowding.
“We are requesting the community members to follow all the guidelines put in place by their local authorities and help ensure that the pandemic does not spread any further,” Deshmukh said.
Bakri Eid will likely be celebrated across the country on August 1.
Earlier, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had stated that owing to the pandemic, all the festivals of all the religions in the last four months were celebrated in a low-key manner and similarly Bakri Eid should also be celebrated in a simple manner, symbolic if possible, by following all the safety measures of the Covid-19.
While initially there was a plan to set up smaller mandis in various parts of the city to prevent overcrowding at Deonar market, a popular Eid market, the chief minister has now shot down the idea stating that transportation of goats and sheep would lead to an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases.
“We should fight Covid-19 this year and celebrate all the festivals in much fanfare next year,” he had said.
Meanwhile, several organisations have called for some relaxations during the festival.
The Jamaat e Islami Hind Maharashtra has requested that animal markets in the 27 districts of the state, where the infection is not that widespread, should be allowed to be opened with certain additional safety measures such as social distancing, wearing of masks, hand gloves and sanitisation.
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