Nagpur: After the unlocking and easing of Covid-19 restrictions by the State Government following decline in corona cases in Nagpur, now demands are being raised to reopen religious places also. The State Government has not permitted opening of religious places even though most other activities are allowed. As the religious places are closed, many including priests are facing financial difficulties.
Vikas Limaye, Chairman of Shri Ganesh Tekdi Mandir Trust, said “All religious places should be allowed to open in accordance with all Covid protocols. The protocols such as mask, sanitisation, and social distancing would be followed strictly. Limited number of devotees would be given entry at a time to avoid unnecessary crowding. Nobody will be allowed without a mask. The temple management has taken full care to avoid gathering a large number of devotees at a time,” Limaye said.
Kari Khalique Ahmed, Imam of Jama Masjid said, “The government has permitted opening of all markets, allowed marriages, and other activities but religious places are closed. A thought should be given to open the religious places also. All the guidelines issued by the government will be followed. Even care will be taken to avoid crowding of devotees,” Imam stated.
Harjitsingh Bagga, President of Gurudwara Guru Ramdasji, Ramdaspeth, pressing his demand for opening of religious places, said “The religious places are connected to the faith of the people. Due to closure of religious places, devotees are being deprived of darshan and other religious activities. Keeping in mind this fact, the government should permit the opening of religious places. Norms of mask and social distancing will be strictly adhered. No programmes will be organised to prevent crowding,” he asserted.
Father Anthony D’souza, SFS Church, said “The religious places should be allowed to open in a time-bound manner. There is no need for haste. There could be a big crowd if religious places are opened. We should wait for 10-15 more days. Once opened, a limited number of devotees should be allowed,” he cautioned.
Vilas Gajghate, Trustee, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Smarak Samiti, backed the State Government decision on not permitting opening of religious places. “If Government feels the situation is right after unlocking, it will definitely allow the opening of religious places. The government is in a better position as to what steps should be taken in a given situation,” he stressed.
Pyare Khan, Chairman, Hazrat Baba Tajuddin Dargah Trust, said “The State Government will take decision on opening of religious places after gauging the situation. Once it permits, all the Covid norms will be followed.”
Pt. Girdharilal Paliwal said, “The government should also permit religious programmes with the opening of religious places. Priests and other concerned people are facing financial problems due to restrictions on opening religious places. They will get relief if religious places are permitted to open,” Pt Paliwal said.