With Ramzan Eid likely on Monday, police personnel across the state over the last few days have been busy conducting meetings with community leaders, using drones to make announcements and spreading videos of religious leaders on social media requesting people celebrate the festival indoors.
Religous leaders have also been making announcements from mosques, especially in areas with large Muslim populations like Malegaon, Mumbra and Bhiwandi, urging people to not come to the mosque for the Eid Namaaz and instead pray at home.
SP (Nashik Rural) Arti Singh, who has been camping at Malegaon, said: “We have received good cooperation from the community and over the last eight weeks, not one person has stepped out for Friday prayers. Even for Eid, we have made a special appeal to the people to celebrate indoors.”
She added that over the last few days, apart from conducting meetings with community elders, local police personnel have also been conducting“corner meetings” where residents are requested to ensure they don’t come out on to the roads on Eid.
Besides, regular announcements are being made from sound-enabled drones that are flown over localities with dense population, from mosques and police vehicles, requesting people to stay indoors.
Thane Police DCP S Burse, whose zone includes Mumbra, said: “ We have made some local religious leaders video record their appeals to residents to stay indoors on Eid and offer Eid Namaaz at home… have tried to share the videos across WhatsApp groups. Things spread on WhatsApp very soon and we are hoping that people will heed to what the religious leaders are saying.”
The local police, which has divided the area into sectors, has a strong presence with a State Reserve Police Force team also trying to ensure there is no crowding on the roads.
On Mohammad Ali Road in south Mumbai, too, apart from the local police, central armed police forces like the CRPF, have been stationed at Bhendi Bazaar to ensure people do not step out. A senior officer said, “The police commissioner has himself appealed to the community to celebrate Eid indoors. We have also roped in some influential people to put out videos asking people to be at home.”
Nadeem Shaikh, a resident of Madanpura, said, “We have been receiving instructions on how to offer Eid Namaaz at home. We have been told that if there are four persons at home, one of us can give the khutba (sermon), which is given before the Eid prayers. Since my father knows Arabic, he will read out the Eid Khutba and then four of us at home will offer Namaaz together. We will not go out as it is risky. Instead of meeting relatives, we will be making video calls.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines