In view of the prevailing health situation because of COVID-19 outbreak in entire Jammu and Kashmir, the District Magistrate of Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary has issued an order prohibiting all sorts of religious congregations and public movement on the occasion of Shab-e-Barat in Srinagar.
The order issued under Section 144 of CrPC states that the decision to prohibit religious gatherings during the occasion has been taken based on recommendations of concerned authorities and reports from the field besides taking into account the current precarious health situation due to COVID-19 pandemic.
It states that these restrictions will remain enforced through the intervening night of April 8 and 9 adding that violations will attract strict action under Section 188 of the IPC and Section 51 of the disaster management act.The DM said that prohibitions on religious and other gatherings has become indispensable in view of the threat from coronavirus infection adding that these among other measures put in place in the district are aimed at containing its spread.
It is notable that restrictions on gatherings and public movement are enforced in the district since March 20 — put in place as part of measures to contain spread of COVID-19 after the first positive case was reported from the district.
What is Shab-e-Barat
It is a night of fortune and forgiveness that falls on the 14th night of the eight month in Islamic calendar. Muslims believe that on the night of this day, destiny of all men is written by the god based on their deeds. On the night of Shab-e-Barat, many Muslims stay awake due to which it is a public holiday on the following day.
Muslims also visit markets and greet each other due to which they come in close contact with each other. This is the reason why many countries are discouraging congregations to maintain social distancing in wake of Coronavirus.