In many towns across West Bengal, several devotees gathered at temples to celebrate Ramanavami, despite strict lockdown instructions by the State and the Central Governments.
India under lockdown until April 15th
On March 24th, PM Modi announced a country-wide lockdown until April 15th, to curb the COVID-19 outbreak. Although the implementation was wayward in the beginning due to the resilience of a few citizens, in recent days, the lockdown has somewhat reached a stable point in the country.
The first occasion of a festival
With so much news centered on the religious conference held at Nizamuddin, it was interesting to see how the citizens would respond to the first festival during the lockdown period – Sri Ramanavami. While the situation was normal mostly, there were few cases of opposition.
Bengal & other states report several cases of lockdown defiance
Especially in Bengal, the situation was a little severe. Several devotees gathered at the temples despite the instructions from the authorities.
The police had to surrender to the heeds of the devotees, as they devised special ways to guarantee social distancing norms were protected to the maximum possible extent.
While the priests were asked to make sure devotees were kept apart while offering pujas, in several districts, police asked the citizens to return to their abode as soon as the offerings were done.
The police also requested the devotees to maintain distance in queues outside the temples. Despite this, a few policemen were attacked by locals in one of the instances. Two police officers were later admitted to the hospital.
Ramanavami Mandap brought down in Odisha
In one of the cases reported from Odisha, a Ramanavami Mandap was brought down by the police to prevent further risk regarding COVID-19.