UP Govt Bans Eid Al-Adha Prayers in Mosques, Eidgahs Amid Pandemic


Patna: Children exchange greetings on Eid-ul-Fitr, in Patna, on June 5, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

Jamiat Ulema welcomes guidelines which allow animal sacrifices but say it should be within the precincts of houses avoiding any public display

Shaheen Nazar | Clarion India

NEW DELHI – Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind has welcomed the decision of the Uttar Padesh Police not allowing congregational prayers in mosques and Eidgahs on the day of Eid Al-Adha.

“This has been necessitated in view of the ongoing restrictions due to the Covid-19 epidemic, what objection anyone could have,” said Maulana Ashhad Rasheedi, UP state president of Jamiat Ulema.

He said the Jamiat was also satisfied with the guidelines on sacrificing animals during the festival, according to which, Muslims will be allowed to sacrifice animals but, like previous years, they will be required to do it privately within the precincts of their houses avoiding any public display. The sacrificial meat would not be allowed to be carried in the open.

Maulana Rasheedi told Clarion India that the guidelines issued by Director-General of Police Harish Chandra Awasthi were in line with the demands of the Jamiat which it presented to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in a memorandum last fortnight.

The guidelines, sent by the DGP to district police chiefs and zonal heads of the Police Department, contain many instructions to maintain law and order during Eid Al-Adha. The police have been advised to ensure that social distancing norms set by the Central as well as state governments are implemented at any cost. It also calls for dealing sternly with rumour-mongers. Messages sent through social media are to be closely monitored and sensitive areas will be watched through CCTV cameras and drones.

Maulana Rasheedi said that restrictions on congregational Eid prayers “are for our good. This is not something new. We followed this at the time of Eid ul-Fitr when we prayed at our homes. When there is epidemic we have no option but to take preventive measures. This is for our own safety. No one has any complaint,” he said on the phone from Lucknow.

The UP Jamiat unit in its memorandum to the chief minister had drawn his attention to the apprehension of the Muslim community ahead of Eid Al-Adha as the festival was going to be celebrated amid the coronovirus pandemic.

“Like previous years, Muslims should be assured of safety during sale, purchase and transportation of sacrificial animals. We urge you to help us in performance of our religious obligation,” the memorandum had urged the chief minister.

Maulana Rasheedi said the guidelines talked of maintaining law and order and dealing sternly with rumour-mongers and mischief-makers. “This is what we had asked for,” he maintained.

Eid Al-Adh will be celebrated on August 1. For the last two weeks, UP is following lockdown on Saturdays and Sundays. August 1, the first day of Eid Al-Adha, is a Saturday. As per religious norms, animals are sacrificed in any or all of the three days.

Saturday and Sunday lockdown is going to cause inconvenience. Many Muslim leaders have called on the UP government to relax this rule for the coming week. Urdu newspapers are publishing such appeals to the government on a daily basis. While Maulana Rasheedi was silent on the demand, Jamiat’s Shamli district president Maulana Sajid Qasmi told Clarion India he would be meeting local police officers to give the lockdown a miss for the coming week.


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