Virus scare dampens Holi mood in Punjab, Haryana

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Chandigarh, Mar 29 (PTI) Holi celebrations remained muted across Punjab and Haryana on Monday as people stayed indoors with the authorities prohibiting gatherings at public places due to the coronavirus scare. In Chandigarh too, people celebrated the festival at home as the administration prohibited the celebrations at public parks, Sukhna Lake and the Sector 17 Plaza. Clubs and hotels were also barred from holding any gathering. The restrictions had been imposed in the wake of a recent surge in the virus cases in the region.

Police personnel in adequate strength were deployed and barricades were set up at several places to prevent hooliganism, check drunken driving and ensure COVID-appropriate behaviour, said officials.

A police official in Punjab’s Mohali said they impounded vehicles of those who indulged in hooliganism.

Police personnel even carried out patrolling to check gatherings at public places, the officials further said.

However, a large number of people paid obeisance at Gurdwara Kesgarh Sahib in Anandpur Sahib on the occasion of Holla Mohalla, a religious fair.

“Nihangs”, traditional Sikh warriors, displayed the “gatka”, a traditional martial art form.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh greeted people on the occasion of Holi.

“Wishing you all a very safe and #HappyHoli. I pray and wish the festival of colours heralds a year of joy and happiness for everyone, especially our farmers. Request everyone to observe all #Covid19 safety precautions in your Holi celebrations,” said Amarinder in a tweet.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar also extended greetings to the people of his state on this occasion.

May the festival of Holi bring immense happiness, prosperity and new enthusiasm in people's lives, he tweeted. PTI CHS VSD RDK RDK