New Delhi: In wake of the ensuing festivals, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday directed the states and Union Territories to strictly adhere to the ongoing 21-day lockdown and not allow any social or religious gathering and procession. Issuing a statement, the MHA asked the authorities in states, UTs to maintain vigil on social media platforms to avoid circulation of any fake and objectionable content. Also Read - 'Production of PPE Being Ramped up': PMO Reviews Efforts to Check Coronavirus Spread
“In view of the ensuing festivals in the month of April, the home ministry has directed all states and union territories to ensure strict compliance of lockdown measures to fight COVID-19 and not allow any social, religious gathering or procession”, the statement read. Also Read - 'Two Rs 500 Notes Thrown on Road to Spread Coronavirus,' Allege Panicked Residents of Lucknow Colony
While Christians are celebrating Good Friday today, Muslim community observed Shab-e-Barat on Thursday. Besides, festivals like Baisakhi, Rongali Bihu, Vishu, Poila Boishakh, Puthandu, Maha Vishuba Sankranti etc will also be celebrated in April. Ramadan is expected to begin from April 23. Also Read - Coronavirus: India in Final Stages of Framing Protocols For Clinical Trial of Plasma Therapy, Says ICMR
Furthermore, the MHA statement added that action under the relevant penal provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and Indian Penal Code (IPC) will be taken against lockdown violators by the law-enforcing agencies.
Notably, the consolidated guidelines on the lockdown measures to be taken by the ministries and departments of the government of India, states and Union territories for the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country were notified by the home ministry on March 24, 25, 27, April 2 and 3.
The home ministry, on March 24, 25, 27, April 2 and 3, had notified the ministries and departments of the government of India, states and Union territories about the consolidated guidelines for the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic. Clauses 9 and 10 of the consolidated guidelines prohibited all religious congregations and social/cultural/religious functions/gatherings without any exception.