Low-key Eid celebrations in Kashmir due to Covid-related restrictions

 Kashmir witnessed low-key celebrations on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha on Wednesday as prayers were not held at the major mosques and shrines of the valley due to Covid-related restrictions.

The Eid celebrations were low key in the valley for the third consecutive year since August 2019.

A majority of the faithful marked the festival of sacrifice by offering prayers in small groups and observing social distancing in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

No Eid prayers were offered for the fifth consecutive time in three years at the major mosques and shrines of Kashmir due to restrictions on large gatherings, officials said.

While small gatherings for Eid prayers were witnessed at local mosques,  some people preferred to offer the prayers at home -- either individually or in small groups consisting of family members only -- they added.

Thousands of sheep and goats were sacrificed by Muslims across the valley to mark the tradition of Prophet Ibrahim, the officials said.

However, the number of animals sacrificed this year was less than the pre-Covid period, they added.

While Eid-ul-Fitr prayers could not be offered last year and this year due to the Covid lockdown, Eid-ul-Adha prayers could not be offered in 2019 also as authorities had imposed a strict curfew in the wake of the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcation of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into Union territories.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha extended Eid greetings to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

"My warm greetings to the people on auspicious occasion of Eid-ul-Azha. May the spirit of benevolence, selfless service symbolized by this festival foster peace, harmony among all sects and bring progress, prosperity in the UT. Eid Mubarak!" he said in a tweet.

Sinha appealed to people to practise Covid-appropriate behaviour.

"In view of evolving situation, I urge everyone to follow the Covid preventive protocols, offer Eid prayers at home and stay safe," he added.

The leaders of several political parties of Jammu and Kashmir also extended Eid greetings to people.

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