COVID-19 outbreak: DDMA prohibits setting up pandals on Ganesh Chaturthi, bars Muharram processions

New Delhi: In view of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has issued instructions to the District Magistrates (DMs) ahead of forthcoming festivals. While no idol of Lord Ganesha will be set up in public places on Ganesh Chaturthi, no permission to be granted for procession during Muharram, the DDMA said in its order.

“The public shall be encouraged/advised to celebrate the same at their homes and not at public places at this time of COVID-19 pandemic,” the DDMA stated.

DMs and District DCPs shall convene meetings with religious/community leaders before every such festival/occasion which has the possibility of large gathering/congregation, to get their cooperation to maintain the law and order and harmony and also to sensitize public for compliance of the guidelines/instructions issued for combating COVID-19 by the government from time to time.

Sufficient police force shall be deployed in all community sensitive areas and in containment zones throughout the NCT of Delhi, the DDMA stated.

The DMs have been asked to ensured that the crowd does not gather in any religious/social place in any manner. “All necessary arrangements should be made for checking during the festivals at all public places, bus stands, railway stations, and sensitive/religious places in NCT of Delhi.”

“Due arrangements be made for the deployment of Dog Squad, Anti-Terrorist Squads and Bomb Disposal Teams for intensive search and checking at religious/public places as per requirement,” it added.

Strict compliance of the Motor Vehicle Act will be ensured during the festival time and special attention will be given to anti-social elements and rumour mongers.

There shall not be any demonstration of weapons/arms in any form. Strict legal action will be taken against the person(s) found in possession of illegal weapon/arms, the DDMA said.

“Section 144 (CrPC) shall be imposed wherever required, and police authorities shall ensure implementation of the same. All enforcement authorities/field functionaries should be properly briefed about strict implementation of the guidelines/instructions, one day before every festival/event,” it added.

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