Maharashtra and Delhi Governments ban Holi & Navratri, but allow gatherings for ‘Shab-e-baraat’ and clubs/pubs in cities

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Public celebration and gatherings for upcoming festivals, including Holi, have been prohibited in Delhi and Mumbai amid a renewed surge in Covid-19 cases across the country.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued an order banning Holi celebrations at public or private spaces in wake of the rising cases of COVID-19. 

The civic body in a circular announced a ban on Holi celebrations in both private and public places. Action will be taken against violators under the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 and Disaster Management Act, 2005, it was stated.

Ironically, the Maharashtra State government allowed the procession for Islamic Festival of Shab-e-Baraat in Mumbai under guidelines while the clubs and pubs across Mumbai & Pune continue to function.

On the other hand, Delhi recorded over 1,100 fresh Covid-19 cases on Tuesday after reporting close to 800 infections three days in a row – its highest in three months – the Delhi administration following the surge has banned all celebrations of Holi, Shab-e-Baraat, and other festivals, in public places but allowed the celebration of festivals at Delhi Border in the ongoing Farmer Protest which seem to have lost their importance with time.

Meanwhile the Uttar Pradesh government, has issued a set of guidelines asking senior citizens and vulnerable groups to stay away from celebrations and said no processions or gatherings will be allowed without prior administrative permission.

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority stated that amid rising Covid-19 cases in NCT of Delhi, public celebrations for upcoming festivals such as Holi, Navratri and gatherings in general, will not be allowed. “All district magistrates and concerned authorities should ensure strict adherence to the order,” it stated.

The public reaction to the new orders stays divided. While some are appreciating the restrictions, while others are criticising it. The public in the states in which the government has not yet put up a ban is demanding a ban in order to not let the situation worsen. However, most believe that banning the festival but carrying out crowded rallies for elections is unfair.

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