Don’t allow religious gatherings, processions during lockdown: MHA to states


New Delhi: Home Minister Amit Shah during the 32nd Intelligence Bureau (IB) Centenary Endowment Lecture at Siri Fort auditorium, Monday, Dec. 23, 2019. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: Home Minister Amit Shah  (PTI Photo)

In view of the upcoming festivals, the Centre asked the states and Union territories on Friday to strictly adhere to the ongoing 21-day lockdown and not allow any social or religious gathering and procession.

In a communication, the Union Home Ministry also said that appropriate vigil on social media should be maintained against the circulation of any objectionable content.

In view of the festivals in April, the home ministry has directed all states and UTs to ensure a strict compliance of the lockdown measures to fight COVID-19 and not allow any social, religious gathering or procession, an official statement said.

While Shab-e-Barat was on Thursday, today is Good Friday. Baisakhi, Rongali Bihu, Vishu, Poila Boishakh, Puthandu, Maha Vishuba Sankranti etc. are also in April.

In the communication, the home ministry has requested the states and UTs that for the attention of the public authorities, social and religious organisations and citizens, the respective provisions of the guidelines should be widely circulated.

It adds that for any violation of the lockdown measures, action under the relevant penal provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and Indian Penal Code (IPC) should be taken by the law-enforcing agencies.

The consolidated guidelines on the lockdown measures to be taken by the ministries and departments of the government of India, states and Union territories for the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country were notified by the home ministry on March 24, 25, 27, April 2 and 3.

Clauses 9 and 10 of the consolidated guidelines state that no religious congregation will be allowed without any exception and all social, cultural, religious functions and gatherings shall be barred.

The home ministry communicated to the states and UTs to inform the district authorities and field agencies about the specific prohibitions as mentioned in the consolidated guidelines on lockdown measures.

The district administrations should take all precautionary and preventive measures for the maintenance of law and order, peace and public tranquillity, the ministry said.

The 21-day nationwide lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 to combat the coronavirus outbreak.