| Children pray in Agartala on Tuesday. Picture by UB Photos |
Kohima/Shillong, July 29: Thousands of Muslims today celebrated Id-ul-Fitr, the festival that marks the culmination of the holy month of Ramazan, across Nagaland and Meghalaya.
In Nagaland, prayers were offered for an end to the ongoing conflict in Gaza, which has killed several hundreds of innocent people.
Nagaland governor P.B. Acharya and chief minister T.R. Zeliang greeted the people of the state on Id-ul-Fitr.
The governor said Id symbolises social harmony and called for strengthening of the country’s composite culture.
Zeliang extended hearty greetings to the people and expressed hope that the festival would usher in peace, goodwill and happiness for humanity.
The Naga People’s Front (NPF) prayed for peace and the Muslim Council Dimapur also wished the people.
Muslims across the state prayed for world peace and solution to the conflict between Palestine and Israel in Gaza.
“We have been praying for peace and universal brotherhood all throughout Ramazan,” said a senior member of the Muslim Council Dimapur (MCD), Ahidur Rahman.
Over 5,000 people gathered at Assam Rifles ground this morning for the prayers.
“I went and prayed for peace in the world,” said Abdul Rehman, a butcher, said. A garment shop owner, Aamil Khan, said there is only one God but people misinterpret religion and create rifts and problems in society.
Abul Hussein, a daily wage labourer from Assam, had distributed sweets and snacks to his neighbours, who are Christians, adding that it is time for all to celebrate and enjoy the blessings of Allah.
“Muslims and Christians are brothers,” he said.
In Dimapur, over 10,000 people gathered at Dimapur district sports complex and offered prayers for peace in the country and for the people of Gaza. All schools, educational institutes and government offices remained closed here today.
In Meghalaya, congregational prayers were held at the Madina Masjid at Laban, and places like Lad Rymbai and Dawki in Jaintia Hills, Nongpoh and Byrnihat in Ri Bhoi district, besides locations in the Garo hills region.
Sporting new clothes and skullcaps, men and children offered namaz, including at the 120-foot-tall and 60-foot-wide Madina Masjid situated alongside the Umshyrpi river.
Janab Hafiz Imamuddin Khan Ashrafi, the Imam of the Madina Masjid, led the congregational prayer.
Meghalaya governor K.K. Paul and chief minister Mukul Sangma greeted the people on the occasion.
In his message, Paul said, “I hope this joyous festival will promote universally cherished values of mutual respect, brotherhood and compassion in our society.”
“Peace, forgiveness and unity are the heart of Id, and so let us resolve to strengthen these bonds of community spirit,” Sangma said in his message.