Places of worship have remained shut in the state for over two months due to the coronavirus pandemic

Shillong: The Meghalaya government has decided to allow the reopening of religious places from June 14. This was announced at a meeting called by chief minister Conrad K Sangma with religious leaders and other officials on Friday.

A draft standard operating procedures of the government was circulated among the leaders. However, a few of the clauses were found to have the need to be worked upon.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong said that places of worship are all set to reopen from June 14 with due adherence to safety protocols laid down by the government.

“Decision was taken today. As far as the clauses of the draft SOP is concerned, about 85%-90% was agreeable but others had some issues. We are going to improve them and then we should be able to send them to the respective religious leaders by tomorrow,” said Tynsong.

Tynsong added that the date has been set for June 14 since the religious leaders said they required some time to convince and educate the followers to adhere to the SOPs notified by the government.

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Suggestions and submissions were also made by religious leaders.

Reverend Himanshu Christian said that a request was made to the government to let them know about the guidelines as to how many people will be allowed to gather and worship keeping in mind social distancing norms.

The Reverend also urged the government to give the SOPs in local languages so that it can be explained welll to the people.

Central Puja Committee’s (CPC) Naba Bhatacharjee said, “As far as the Hindu religious group is concerned, we are already following the SOPs in the temple. However, with festivals coming up, we asked the government if they can give us the guidelines on how many people are allowed to gather depending on the size of the temple.”

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