Coronavirus in India: No mass prayers, iftar party at mosques during Ramazan in Bhubaneswar

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On Wednesday, the Commissionerate Police had held a meeting with Masjid chief’s in Bhubaneswar where it was decided that no mass prayer, namaaz or special daily prayers (Tarabih) will be offered during Ramazan in any mosque in Odisha’s capital. 

Ramzan begins this year when the entire country is in lockdown. (Image for representation: AP)

In the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, there will be no mass prayer and Iftar party at any mosque in Bhubaneswar during the holy month of Ramzan beginning Friday or Saturday.

On Wednesday, the Commissionerate Police had held a meeting with Masjid chief’s in Bhubaneswar where it was decided that no mass prayer, namaaz or special daily prayers (Tarabih) will be offered during Ramazan in any mosque in the state capital.

The namaaz will only be performed inside houses and social distancing norms should be followed. Besides, people have also been advised to celebrate ‘iftar’ in the same manner.

Bhubaneswar DCP Anup Sahu told India Today TV: “Discussions were held with presidents of all Masjids in Bhubaneswar. They have assured that no mass gathering will take place in mosques for prayers. No ‘iftaar’ party will be held during Ramazan. Those who remain in mosques [imam] will only perform prayers there [2-3 persons] maintaining social distance guidelines.”

Police officials have advised the Muslim community leaders to ask people not to venture outside unnecessarily and remain indoors during Ramazan for prayers.

Md Shahnawaz, the president Unit-3 Mosque, told India Today TV: “A meeting was called by the Commisionerate Police. I thanked the police on their consistent efforts in managing the coronavirus crisis in Odisha. For the Ramzan starting from April 25, it was agreed that all prayers shall be performed at homes without outsiders joining. I have requested all our Muslim brothers to seriously abide by the government advisories and police guidelines.”

Cuttack MLA Mohammed Moqueem said: “We have appealed to community members to follow guidelines issued by the government and offer their Namaaz from home during Ramadan and to support the government in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.”

The holy month of Ramzan begins from April 24 or 25. Ramzan is special to devout Muslims, who observe daily fasting (Roza) for a month and offer special daily prayers (Tarabih). The time of morning ‘Sehri’ and ‘Iftar’ in the evening is decided by the city’s mufti during Ramzan.

Ramzan begins this year when the entire country is in lockdown and the mosques are closed due to novel coronavirus outbreak. If some mosques are open, they are not seeing many Muslims coming in to pray, as most of them are staying indoors and praying at home in this critical time.

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About the author: Sohom Das
Founder of Tuccho.

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