Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 18 (PTI) The Kerala government's decision to relax COVID-19 restrictions in view of Bakrid festival in the state on July 21 came under criticism on Sunday from the opposition Congress and the Indian Medical Association (IMA), which warned of legal action against the same.
In a tweet, Congress National Spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said if Kanwar Yatra was wrong, then so were the relaxations for Bakrid, especially in a state which was presently one of the 'hotbeds' for COVID-19 infection.
'Deplorable act by Kerala Govt to provide 3 days relaxations for Bakra eid celebrations especially because it's one of the hotbeds for Covid-19 at present.
If Kanwar Yatra is wrong, so is Bakra Eid public celebrations,' he tweeted.
The Indian Medical Association said it was 'pained' to see that amidst rise of cases, the Kerala government has issued an order to ease out lockdown in the state 'on the pretext of religious gatherings of Bakrid'.
It also said that it would be constrained to move the Supreme Court against the decision, if the Kerala government does not withdraw the concessions granted by it.
On Saturday, the state government announced that all textiles, footwear shops, jewellery outlets, home appliance stores, and those selling essential items shall be allowed to open on July 18, 19 and 20 from 7 AM to 8 PM in category A, B and C areas, in view ofBakrid.
In D category areas, these shops can function only on July 19.
Terming the government move as 'unwarranted' and 'inappropriate', the IMA said, 'When many northern states like Jammu and Kashmir, and UP have stopped, with a constructive sense of public safety, the traditional and popular pilgrimage yatras, it is unfortunate that the state of Kerala has taken this decision which will pave way for mass gatherings.' It has 'strongly urged' the state to immediately withdraw its concessions. PTI HMP ROH ROH