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After opposing Bhoomi Poojan of Ram Mandir, Maharashtra government set to give relaxations for Bakra Eid

Earlier, former minister Arif Naseem Khan has written a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asking him to call an urgent meeting of ministers, present and ex MLAs to review the guidelines issued on the occasion of Bakra Eid. According to Khan, the Qurbani or the sacrifice of goats cannot be done symbolically.

While the Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray pontificated about the Bhoomi Pujan ceremony in Ayodhya be conducted via e-conference, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra headed by him is reportedly mulling over relaxing certain restrictions imposed in the guidelines that were issued in the state on account of Bakra Eid.

A group of disgruntled Muslim leaders of Maha Vikas Aghadi government recently met NCP chief Sharad Pawar to raise their grievances against the restrictions placed by the Maharashtra government ahead of Eid al-Adha. The Muslim leaders rejected Uddhav Thackeray’s call for the symbolic sacrifice of animals, requesting Sharad Pawar to intervene to facilitate the relaxation of the restriction.

The state government is likely to come up with revised guidelines after Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat and state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh met the Chief Minister last night, reports Times Now.

Now, as per a report by Times Now, the Maharashtra government will allegedly issue a set of revised guidelines to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. The report says that while the government won’t budge on its ban on mass praying in the mosques, the caveat of virtual sacrifice will be dropped and the adherents will be likely allowed to sacrifice the goats.

Muslim leaders of Maha Vikas Aghadi government met Sharad Pawar to voice their grievance

The meeting with Sharad Pawar came after several ministers in the state objected to the guidelines issued to celebrate Eid al-Adha in the wake of coronavirus outbreak. Ever since the Uddhav Thackeray-led government issued guidelines for the celebrations of Eid al-Adha in Maharashtra, Muslim leaders of the coalition have been scrambling to secure an appointment to meet the NCP chief and convey their displeasure over it.

Earlier, former minister Arif Naseem Khan has written a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asking him to call an urgent meeting of ministers, present and ex MLAs to review the guidelines issued on the occasion of Bakra Eid. According to Khan, the Qurbani or the sacrifice of goats cannot be done symbolically.

He also stated that buying goats online and keeping livestock market closed was impractical. Khan opined that goats could only be bought after inspecting their size and health conditions and that such a thing could not be done while procuring animals online.

Congress MLA Amin Patel had stated that the symbolic sacrifice of goats was ‘unacceptable’ in Islam.  He clarified that even though he was in favour of social distancing and praying at home amidst the pandemic, yet asking Muslims to sacrifice goats symbolically was a bit of overstretching. Patel said, “I am observing social distancing, not crowding, praying at home on Bakra Eid to prevent the spread of the pandemic, but Muslims cannot be asked to do Qurbani symbolically.”

Maharashtra government issues Bakra Eid guidelines

The Maha Vikas Aghadi government had issued a set of guidelines for celebrating the Muslim festival of Bakra Eid on July 31 and August 1 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

As per the guidelines, people were asked to offer namaz at home instead of thronging nearby mosques and asked to purchase animals online or over the phone. The guidelines called for symbolic celebration of Bakra Eid, which rankled a raft of Muslims, including Muslim legislators.

The state government had asked that “qurbani” or ritual animal sacrifice preferably be done symbolically considering that Maharashtra is in the throes of a deadly respiratory illness, steadily inching towards the 4 lakh mark, with the death tally crossing 13,000.

Uddhav Thackeray suggested Bhoomi Pujan of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya to be done via e-conference

It is pertinent to note that while the Maharashtra government led by Uddhav Thackeray is all set to scrap the guidelines that advised the Muslim adherents to observe virtual sacrifice, the Maharashtra CM had recently in an interview with the Shiv Sena mouthpiece advocated e-bhoomi pujan, keeping in view the coronavirus crisis.

“An e-Bhoomi Pujan can be done. The ground-breaking ceremony can be done through video conferencing. This is an event of joy and lakhs of people could attend it if we broadcast it via video conference. Will we allow the spread of the coronavirus?” Thackeray said in an interview with the Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana.

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Jinit Jain
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