NEW DELHI: Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Monday appealed to people to follow the guidelines of lockdown and social distancing during Ramzan, and urged them to offer prayers and perform other religious rituals in their homes.
A press release from the Ministry of Minority Affairs said, "Naqvi, who is also the Chairman of Central Waqf Council, the regulatory body of state Waqf boards in India, informed that more than seven lakh registered mosques, Eidgah, Imambada, Dargah and other religious institutions come under the state Waqf boards across the country."
According to the press release, Naqvi said that he has talked and appealed to various religious leaders, representatives of various social and religious organizations, officials and other office-bearers of state Waqf boards that they should ensure implementation of guidelines of lockdown and social distancing during Ramzan amid the COVID-19 crisis.
"They should ensure that the people perform all the religious rituals of Ramzan by staying inside their homes," he stated.
The Union Minister said that the state Waqf boards, through the Central Waqf Council, have been directed to take an effective approach to ensure the people do not gather at religious and other places under any circumstances during Ramzan.
"There is a need to take help of various religious and social organizations, the people and the local administration in this regard. These religious and social organizations and personalities need to cooperate with the local administration for ensuring strict and effective implementation of lockdown and social distancing norms during Ramzan," the press release said.
Naqvi said that pro-active, effective and positive efforts of state Waqf boards and religious organizations ensured that people observed Shab-e-Barat on April 8 and 9 by offering prayers and performing all other religious rituals on the occasion at their homes.
He said that all religious activities at temples, mosques, gurdwaras and churches and other religious places of the country have been canceled in view of COVID-19.
The minister said that there is a need to make the people aware so that they perform all the religious rituals inside their homes and follow lockdown and social distancing norms during Ramzan.
"Such efforts are not only needed at mosques and other religious places but also at other places where people gather during the holy month of Ramzan to perform religious rituals," he added.
Naqvi stated that the people of the country are following the guidelines of lockdown and social distancing on the appeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Any type of carelessness can be harmful to us. We should follow the guidelines of the administration to defeat coronavirus," he further said.