Eid will be a low-key affair in COVID-hit Bihar

Patna, May 24 (PTI) With no mass prayer or get together, no hugging or handshake Eid will be celebrated in a subdued manner in Bihar on Monday, as the COVID-19 induced lockdown has dampened the mood of the festivity.

People will hold Eid prayers inside their homes as all mosques along with religious places of other faiths are now closed because of the measures taken to break the chain of coronavirus infection.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who usually visits the congregation at Gandhi Maidan here in every year on Eid day, will not go anywhere to exchange greetings, official sources said.

Patna's Imarat Shariah said that people will not be able to offer prayers at Idgah and mosques due to the extension of lockdown till May 31, and urged them to offer prayers at homes.

'I neither heard nor seen an Eid where people will be offering namaz in their homes. There will neither be any handshake, nor will we hug our friends and relatives. It's an Eid with a lot of difference,' retired IAS officer Afzal Amanullah told PTI.

Amanullah, who retired as the secretary of Union Parliamentary Affairs Ministry and had served as Bihar in various capacities, said there will be no traditional Eid get together this time.

'We shall exchange greetings and wishes to each other over the phone and through SMS and WhatsApp. We pray that everyone remains safe and healthy,' said Amanullah who was appointed as the state's Real Estate Regulatory Authority chairman.

Muzaffarpur-based journalist Khwaja Jamal said children are a disappointed lot as they will have to stay indoors on the day of Eid, the biggest festival of Muslims.

'Because of the COVID-19, We will miss social gatherings which is a key part of the festival,' Jamal said.

Bihar has so far reported a total of 2,478 coronavirus cases. Of them, 13 died of the disease, 677 recovered and 1788 are currently under treatment. PTI AR NN NN