Udayavni Special

MLC Farookh demands withdrawal of Ramzan Order

Team Udayavani, Apr 18, 2020, 4:16 PM IST

Mangaluru: Member of Karnataka Legislative Council BM Farookh on Saturday, April 18 demamnded that the state government withdraw the Ramzan Order issued by Department of Minorities, Wakf and Hajj while taking suitable measures to enforce social distancing in festivals of all
communities without discrimination.

In a letter written to the Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka Farookh lauded the stringent action initiated by the government to prevent the communal transmission of the virus amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emphasising that no citizen of the country is above the law, Farookh sought to draw the governments attention towards certain flawed conditions, mentioned in an order issued by the Department of Minorities, Wakf and Hajj on April 16. In the wake of the pandemic, the order has banned congregational prayers during the holy month of Ramzan.

The JDS leader said condition No. 2 and 3 of the order restricts the use of public address system, delivering Azan (call indicating five time prayers from time to time) in low decibels which has nothing to do with the prevention of disease and looks to be against the spirit of the guidelines and the COVID-19 protocol issued by the Central and State Governments.

“Azan includes clearly a call for the Muslims to pray at home and does not offer any Namaz at Masjid/ mosque, which may kindly be noted. Hon’ble Prime Minister has called for clapping, ringing the bells, etc., in order to show solidarity to the Front Line Workers in the fight against Corona virus and the Muslim brethren had reciprocated to the call by voicing Azan from the mosques at many places.

Apart from this, the order prohibits the preparation of porridge (Genji, Aash and juices) and its distribution in the Mohallas as could be seen from condition No. 5. The distribution of Porridge has always been taken up as a charity measure, the distribution of which is always among the poor. The lockdown situation has brought many amongst the poor to abject poverty for want of jobs and the distribution of Porridge will be a great relief to such people.

The Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka has held recently that the relief distribution in any form by NGOs or individuals shouldn’t be prevented and the State machinery has to coordinate with such agencies to maintain social distancing. It is also recalled that the distribution of Milk for Anganwadis, food grain through PDS are going on and the ban of distribution of Porridge by Masjid amounts to discrimination to the minorities. The order requires to be withdrawn or needs to be revisited to incorporate modifications thereto,” it is stated in the letter.

Ponting out to the Rath Yathra held in Kalburgi District, a hotspot of COVID-19 which saw participation of thousands of people, Farookh opined that law enforcement is more rigoruos when it came to the minorities. He further stated that members of Muslim community feel discriminated against and wondered why such a notification was not issued on occasion of Good Friday or Easter.

“Apart from this, a section of people are freely campaigning hatred against the community and even the action taken against the guilty is nullified at the intervention of leaders of ruling party in a scenario reminiscent of the fence eating the crop. Such attitude on the part of the administration needs to be avoided and the order issued by the Secretary, Department of Minorities, Wakf and Hajj is required to be withdrawn since earlier orders with regard to the congressional prayers apply in full force and there is no need of a “Ramzan Order,” the letter added.

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