After the news of 15 labourers offering Namaz at Badrinath Dham in the holy town on the occasion of the Bakri Eid on July 21 (Wednesday) started doing the rounds on social media, the members of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal met Uttarakhand Cabinet Minister Satpal Maharaj on Wednesday and submitted a memorandum, demanding a probe into the same. Meanwhile, Chamoli police which began investigating the matter, refuted the allegations, asserting that nothing of that sort had happened.
Chamoli police released a press note on its official Twitter handle yesterday itself, urging people to refrain from believing such unverified claims circulating on various social media platforms. The press note read that the Muslim labourers engaged in building a parking lot close to the temple offered Namaz inside their closed rooms without using loudspeakers and without the presence of any cleric or Maulvi. They also followed the Covid protocol of wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, it added.
कृपया अफवाहों से बचें बिना सत्यता को जाने कोई भी खबर साझा ना करें।— chamoli police (@chamolipolice) July 21, 2021
चमोली पुलिस pic.twitter.com/BNExacKa6N
It is pertinent to note here that a report by Dainik Jagran published on July 21 claimed that a complaint was registered against the 15 labourers for flouting Covid norms. Chamoli police, however, clarified that the offering of the Namaz was a private affair, and the workers had adhered to all covid protocols while doing the same. Though the police confirmed carrying out an investigation, there was no mention of any case being registered against the labourers. Chamoli police said that in case, during the investigation, it is revealed that Covid protocols were flouted, then appropriate action would be taken under the Disaster Management Act.
In 2018, the central government had approved a project called “Astha Path” to face-lift the temple premises in the holy town of Badrinath. Yesterday, Hindus were enraged after social media posts started doing the rounds alleging that a group of Muslim labourers, who were appointed by the contractor to construct a parking area for this project, offered Namaz in the Badrinath Dham temple on the occasion of Bakri Eid.
Following the outrage, Hindu outfits submitted a memorandum to the Uttarakhand cabinet minister raising objections to Muslims performing Namaz in the holy town of Hindus. They expressed displeasure saying that when Hindus devotees are not being allowed to visit the holy shrine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, then how can Muslims be allowed to offer Namaz, that too at a place which is considered extremely sacred by the Hindus.
However, soon the Chamoli police issued clarifications, calling the social media posts false. Today, again Chamoli police shared an audio clip in which the Superintendent of Police, Chamoli, Shri Yashwant Singh Chouhan stated that the police have not found any evidence to substantiate the claims which did the rounds on social media. Confirming that the Namaz was not read in a public place, Chouhan said: “Chamoli police request all of you, please do not share any misleading news without verifying the facts”.
पुलिस अधीक्षक चमोली श्री यशवंत सिंह चौहान महोदय द्वारा श्री बद्रीनाथ धाम के सम्बन्ध में वायरल सूचना के सम्बन्ध में दी गयी विस्तृत जानकारी।— chamoli police (@chamolipolice) July 22, 2021
चमोली पुलिस का आप सभी से निवेदन कृपया बिना तत्थयों की पुष्टि किये कोई भी भ्रामक खबर साझा ना करें। pic.twitter.com/9dCgOzpW5X
Badrinath is considered one of the holiest places in the Hindu religion. One of the 108 Divya Desams, the Badrinath temple is part of Char Dham also referred to as “the four abodes”, consisting of the pilgrimage circuit of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath. It is also a part of the Chota Char Dham, comprising of the pilgrimage circuit of Badrinath, Rameswaram, Dwarka and Puri. Badrinath temple was re-established by Adi Shankracharya in the 8th century as part of his mission to enliven Hinduism. According to Hindu scripture, it is believed that visiting these sites helps in achieving moksha (salvation).
Meanwhile, it was reported how Kerala had seen a spike in the number of Covid cases due to the easing of Covid-19 restrictions in the state ahead of the Eid-ul-Adha or Bakri Eid. As restrictions were removed ahead of the Eid celebrations, Kerala has recorded the highest number of fresh cases surpassing the two-month average.