Srinagar: Amid rising COVID cases and restrictions in view of the pandemic in India, Eid-ul-Adha celebrations this year are likely to be without the usual fervour.
Keeping in view the current circumstances, a report by DNA said that authorities in various states of India have issued guidelines, advising people to offer congregational prayers on Eid at home and avoid the sacrificing of animals on the occasion.
Reportedly, the lockdown and social distancing in various states, have badly affected the sale and transport of the animals on this Eid.
In Uttar Pradesh, the state government has issued strict guidelines to ensure social distancing on the occasion. As per the guidelines, Muslims in the BJP-ruled state will have to offer prayers and celebrate the upcoming festival at their homes.
Besides banning the transportation of meat and animal slaughtering, the Muslim clerics have been told to ensure social distancing at public places and advise people to stay indoors on this Eid.
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath has directed police officials in all districts to remain vigil and take note of even the smallest incident in their respective areas.
Earlier, the state’s Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband had written to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, requesting him to allow sacrifice of animals and people to offer namaz in Idgahs on Eid-al-Adha.
In a letter to Yogi, acting Mohtamim Maulana Abdul Khalik Madrasi had said on Monday Bakri Eid is nearing and there is no alternative to sacrifice in Islam. He pointed out the hurdles and uncertainty in the way of preparations for the festival due to the COVID outbreak.
Besides demanding permission for holding prayers in Idgahs while following proper social distancing norms, the seminary had demanded the shift of the Weekend lockdown from Saturday-Sunday to Tuesday-Wednesday.
In Hyderabad, Maulana Hafeez Mohd Rizwan Qureshi, khateem, Mecca Masjid has said that general public is not being allowed in the Mecca Masjid even after the relaxation of the lockdown. The Eid prayers at historic Mecca Masjid will not be held this year.
As per Maharashtra government guidelines, people have been asked to offer prayers at home and purchase sacrificial animals online or over the phone.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led government in the state has also urged that “qurbani” or ritual animal sacrifice preferably be done symbolically, considering the lockdown norms and containment zone restrictions.
In Mumbai, Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Abu Asim Azmi said that his party will hold a protest in Mumbai against the guidelines by the state government on regulations for transporting of animals for the upcoming festival.
The SP leader, whose party is in the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi said that the authorities were not permitting vehicles carrying the sacrificial animals from other states to enter into Maharashtra.abu asim azmi twitter
Taking to his twitter handle Azmi wrote: “People have ordered animals online for Eid al-Adha after getting permission from the government. The cost of transportation of a single animal is high, so people started ordering together and the tempos have been transporting several animals at a time. However, these vehicles are being halted at the border and prevented from entering the State. We will protest against it. I request you all to join the protest and make this big.”
On Tuesday, while announcing the COVID restrictions, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the lockdown in the containment zones of the state will continue till August 31 as also the biweekly restrictions in place to check the spread of the deadly virus killing lakhs of the people worldwide.
“The biweekly lockdown will be implemented mostly on Saturdays and Sundays. But since festivals like Eid as also Independence Day are happening on Saturdays, lockdown will be enforced on some other day,” a report by DNA quoted Banerjee announcing.
Pertinently, a Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) MLA from Loni Constituency in Ghaziabad district of Uttar Pradesh, Nand Kishore Gurjar, has asked the Muslims to “sacrifice their children instead of animals” as “meat spreads coronavirus” and to stop its increase, people should not be allowed to sacrifice innocent animals.
“People who want to sacrifice on Eid should sacrifice their children. I will not let people consume meat and alcohol in Loni. We will not let people sacrifice innocent animals because meat spreads coronavirus,” said BJP legislator according to a report in a Delhi based news agency ANI.
“The way people have followed the guidelines of the government by not offering prayers and namaz at temples and mosques to contain COVID-19, in the same way, they must not offer the sacrifice of animals on this Eid,” the report quoted the BJP leader as saying.
In Kashmir, to overcome the shortage of sacrificial animals, the divisional administration has directed for throwing Mughal road open exceptionally for ferrying sacrificial animals for Eid-ul-Adha.
Days ahead of the festival, the administration took a series of decisions during a meeting chaired by the Divisional Commissioner, P K Pole. During the meeting, police authorities have been asked to prepare a separate security plan on the eve of the festival, which will be celebrated on August 01.
“To overcome the shortage of sacrificial animals in the valley, Mughal Road shall be thrown open exceptionally for ferrying these animals for Eid and no passenger vehicle is allowed to ply on the road. Deputy Commissioner, Shopian shall deploy magistracy in this regard at the three identified locations. Besides, Deputy Commissioners of Rajouri and Poonch shall be taken on board for the purpose,” the meeting decided.
Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth and final month in the Islamic calendar.
Free Press Kashmir is now on Telegram. Click here to Join.