Gujarat govt raises cap on Eid-e-Milad procession participants to 400 within limited area

  • | Monday | 18th October, 2021

Ahmedabad, Oct 18 (PTI) The Gujarat government on Monday said 400 people can gather in an Eid-e-Milad procession if it moves within a locality, colony or street and does not go out of that area. The announcement came a day after three Congress MLAs - Gyasuddin Shaikh, Imran Khedawala and Mohammad Javid Pirzada - urged the state BJP government to raise the limit on participation in a procession from 15 people to 400 people. On Sunday, the Gujarat government had given a go ahead to the Eid-e-Milad celebrations in the state and announced that processions can be taken out on Tuesday with certain restrictions in view of the COVID-19 pandemic situation. As per guidelines issued by the state Home Department on Sunday, not more than 15 people and one vehicle could participate in a procession of Eid-e-Milad, that will be celebrated on Tuesday to mark the birth anniversary of the last prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammad. After the Home Department issued the notification on Sunday, Shaikh and two other Muslim MLAs shot off a letter to Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, expressing displeasure over the norm and urged him to allow 400 participants in a procession, as per the prevalent COVID-19 guidelines in the state. In a "clarification" issued on Monday, the state government said "400 people can take part in a procession, if it moves within a locality, mohalla or street and does not go out of that limited area". If the procession goes out of the area, only 15 people will be allowed in it as per the guidelines issued on Sunday, said the latest release. The Gujarat government on Sunday also said the processions can only be taken out during the day hours in view of the night curfew in force in eight cities of the state. The government had also said that the movement of processions should remain restricted to their localities so that they are completed in minimum possible time. The processions and celebration of the festival will have to be organised with strict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines in terms of the use of masks, sanitisers and social distancing, a government notification had said. At present, night curfew between 12 midnight and 6 am is in place in eight major cities of Gujarat and the state government has already given permission to organise religious, political or social gatherings with a limit of 400 guests, said the release. Earlier this month, the state government had decided to extend the coronavirus-induced night curfew in eight cities - Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Gandhinagar, Jamnagar, Junagadh and Bhavnagar till November 10. For the just-concluded Navratri festival, it had allowed garba dance celebrations in residential societies with relaxation in night curfew timings. PTI PJT GK GK

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