Patna, May 14 (PTI) COVID-19 cast its shadow on Eid-Ul- Fitr for the second consecutive year in Bihar where the people on Friday observed the festivities locked inside their homes.
Muslim clerics, scholars and other influential people had been issuing appeals for some time urging the believers not to gather outdoors for offering of namaaz and exchanging greetings, a custom they had been observing in the days of yore.
Members of the community followed the instructions scrupulously, offering their prayers inside their homes, followed by chants of Eid Mubarak, and greeting friends and relatives living elsewhere over telephone.
The state has been rattled by the second wave which has wrought devastation across the country, prompting the government to clamp a complete lockdown from May 05 to 15 and, thereafter, extend it till May 25.
The restrictions, which have lowered the incidence of COVID-19 cases, led to the sprawling Gandhi Maidan spread over several acres of land wearing a deserted look in contrast with years preceding the pandemic when people used to gather in thousands to offer prayers marking the conclusion of the holy month of Ramadan.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who used to visit the huge public park every year, wearing a skull cap as a mark of solidarity and communal amity, took to the social media for greeting Muslim brethren on the auspicious occasion.
In a statement that was shared on his official Facebook page and Twitter handle, Kumar greeted 'Muslim brothers and sisters of the state and the country' on the occasion of Eid- ul-Fitr.
He also prayed for their well being and urged them to observe the festivities while staying at their homes.
The lockdown has also resulted in closure of garment shops, leading to disappointment among those who could not purchase new clothes beforehand and did not have the wherewithal to place orders on the various e-commerce festivals.
Grocery shops are allowed to do business for four hours every morning and shopkeepers did acknowledge a small rise, of late, in the sale of vermicelli, raisins and other dry fruits, mixed with milk to prepare 'sevaiyan', the most popular delicacy associated with Eid which Muslims savor and love to share with visitors. PTI NAC SNS SNS