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Gujarat govt increases cap on Eid celebrations after three Muslim MLAs point out other festivals had higher limit

Keeping in mind the controlled cases of coronavirus infection in the state, the state government had relaxed norms for celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi and Navratri in Gujarat.

The Gujarat government on Monday permitted the gathering of up to 400 people for Eid-e-Milad procession provided it moves within a locality, colony or street and does not go out of that area. The development comes a day after three Muslim MLAs of Congress, Gyasuddin Shaikh, Imran Khedawala and Mohammad Javid Pirzada, urged the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) ruled state government to raise the limit on participation in a procession.

Prior to this, the government had restricted the participation to 15 people and only one vehicle could participate in the procession. 

Unhappy with the guidelines issued by the state home department, Shaikh and two other Muslim MLAs had written a letter to Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel. 

Letter by three Muslim Congress MLAs

In a letter shared by Congress MLA Imran Khedawala on his Facebook page, he had mentioned how the recent state home department guidelines for Eid procession was restricted to 15 people while political rallies and celebration of festivals of other religion had an increased cap of 400 people. “We get the feeling of injustice on seeing the restrictions placed on Eid-e-Milad procession. On one hand, politicians of all parties including the Chief Minister and other BJP leaders are carrying their political rallies with thousands of people. The state government under the current guidelines have given limit of 400 people for celebration of festivals of other religions. On those lines we had asked for permission but the government gave us permission to use only one car and 15 people in procession. This feels like discrimination and mockery. We are shocked at this,” the letter stated.

Hence, the three Muslim Congress MLAs wrote to the authorities to increase the cap up to 400 people in the procession.

Congress MLAs letter to the Gujarat CM. Image Source: Facebook

Subsequently, the state government increased the cap to 400 people if procession is in same locality.

Gujarat govt issues clarification

Overwriting the old guidelines, the state government issuing a ‘clarification’ on Monday said that up to 400 people can take part in a procession. However, if the procession moves out of the limited area, only 15 people will be allowed to participate, the letter said further.

Additionally, the government has stated that the processions can only be taken out during the day hours and should be concluded in the minimum time possible. At present, the state has imposed night curfews from 12 AM to 6 AM in eight major cities of Gujarat. 

The state in its release also clarified that the government had already permitted organizing religious, political or social gatherings with a limit of 400 guests. 

Congress MLA thanks BJP govt

The Muslim MLAs shot another letter thanking the chief minister for increasing the cap on participation. 

They also assured that the processions will be carried out adhering to the Covid-19 guidelines. 

Gujarat govt eases restrictions for celebrating Hindu festivals

Keeping in mind the controlled cases of coronavirus infection in the state, the state government had relaxed norms for celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi and Navratri in Gujarat. Up to 400 people were permitted for organising garba during Navratri within residential neighbourhoods. Commercial garba celebrations were discouraged. Permission was not granted for party plots and other commercial venues. Similarly, for Ganesh Chaturthi festival that was held in September, the cap was 400 people for outdoor celebration and 200 people for indoor celebration.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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