Covid-19: Karnataka bans processions on Muharram, Ganesh Chaturthi
Last week, the Union government had urged states and Union territories to consider imposing restrictions for upcoming festivals.
Karnataka has become the latest state to issue an advisory for the upcoming festive season, as it seeks to control a fresh spurt in daily new cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). In an order on August 12, the state government said that processions are being banned till August 20 for both Muharram and Ganesh Chaturthi.
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For Muharram, the order stated that alam/panja and tajiya can be seen from a distance without being touched. “Wearing masks inside prayer halls is mandatory. Prayers inside mosques are to be held in strict compliance with the Covid-19 norms. Mass prayer gatherings are allowed only in mosques and nowhere else, including community halls, open grounds etc. Further, no programs can be conducted in graveyards, while children below the age of 10 and senior citizens above 60 should offer prayers only at home,” it stated.
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Meanwhile, for Ganesh Chaturthi, the notification barred setting up of pandals. “The festival has to be celebrated in a simple manner. Procession/entertainment program should not be organised while bringing and submerging Ganesha idol. The idols should only be submerged at designated spots. Proper sanitisation should be done every day at temples which are observing Ganesh Chaturthi. Devotees can enter temples only after using sanitisers. Additionally, the temple administration should arrange for thermal checking,” the document mandated.
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On August 4, the Union government wrote to all states and Union territories, urging them to actively consider imposing restrictions for upcoming festivals such as Muharram, Ganesh Chaturthi, Onam, Janmashtami and Durga Puja. Muharram will be observed on August 19, while Janmashtami will be celebrated on August 30. Ganesh Chaturthi is on September 10, while dates for Durga Puja are between October 5 and 15.
(With ANI inputs)