Dibrugarh: With the pandemic wreaking havoc across the state and implications of restrictions, the Muslim community of Dibrugarh, Assam, plans to celebrate Eid ul-Adha. one of the two main festivals observed by Muslims across the world, quietly.  

This will be the second time in a row that the festival will be celebrated with no pomp and glory. All prayer congregations remain cancelled and COVID protocols will be strictly observed. 

Although the festival will be celebrated on July 21, Wednesday, in regular times the preparations would begin weeks in advance. However, this year following the second wave of the Covid 19 pandemic, the government SOP has issued strict rules against mass gatherings. 

General Secretary of the Imam Council, Dibrugarh district, Atiqur Rahman Qasimi said “In Dibrugarh district, we are strictly complying with the government SOP. We have set the limitations on four people to offer namaz in mosques. We have also talked with the SP. We have restricted namaz offerings in the mosques only inside the campus. This rule shall also be followed during Eid unless a new SOP is issued. Idgahs shall remain closed on Eid. However, I urge the people to offer their prayers in their homes.”

“We are following strict social distancing and safety norms, assigned by the government as it is very essential and request the same to be followed by all. We are happy and have no objections with these restrictions as it for the safety of all,” he added. 

The ongoing pandemic, economic hardships and restrictions on movement have also resulted in a sharp decline in the number of people offering animal sacrifices.

Travelling restrictions on meat traders have resulted in them incurring huge losses. “I think due to financial strain many people are not buying cattle from us. Earlier, customers would enquire about cattle and meat from almost a month earlier. But this year, there is no pre-booking or response from most of my customers. The travelling restrictions and curfew hours are affecting our trade. Earlier, we could order cattle in bulk from dealers, but now there is a lack of orders. Most of the cattle dealers have shut down businesses as they have not renewed their licenses. We hope that the government takes up steps to look into the matter. Other than that, we are following proper hygiene while butchering meat and will do the same on Eid,” said Rohi, a local meat trader in Dibrugarh. 

However, it is heartening to see that families are preparing for the festivity among themselves with love and devotion. Subreen Almin, an advocate of the Dibrugarh Bar Association, got married recently and is looking forward to celebrating Eid with her in-laws. “I am excited for Eid this year. Although going to my relatives’ place in a pandemic is a big no, I can always speak to them via a video call. I will spend Eid tending to my family and cooking new dishes. Everyone should take a day off and do whatever they like, provided they follow the COVID safety protocols. We cannot put others in danger because of us,” she said.

“We will not sacrifice an animal this year as there are so many restrictions of space, availability of cattle and the general hike in prices of cattle. Rather we would donate the money to an establishment that looks after the needy. This way me and my family hope we can bring smiles on the faces of the needy.” she added. 

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