Covid-19 and cyclone to make for subdued Id in Assam
Muslims in the state will not be celebrating Id-ul-Fitr but merely observing the usually joyous occasion at the end of a month of fasting during Ramazan.
There will be no community prayers at mosques and idgahs due to the lockdown. People have been urged by religious as well as political leaders to offer namaz at home.
The incessant rainfall following cyclone Amphan and release of dam waters by Bhutan and from the Ranganadi project has led to floods in Lakhimpur district on the north bank of the Brahmaputra and Barpeta district in lower Assam, worsening the situation and dampening the spirits of the people just before Id.
“How can we celebrate Id this time when so many people have been found Covid positive and many more are lodged in quarantine centres or self-quarantining at home? Many Muslim brothers and sisters are also suffering. Instead of spending on new clothes or sumptuous feasts, we are trying to help the needy from different communities by donating cash or distributing relief packages,” said a resident of Lakhtokia here.
Shops in Fancy Bazar, the commercial hub of the city and the Northeast, remained closed on Sunday. Only a few makeshift stalls selling sewai could be seen doing business. The shops here witnessed limited number of shoppers on Saturday, with people avoiding the area, especially as a part of Fancy Bazar had been declared an isolation zone after many workers were tested positive.
This year the greater Assamese community could not celebrate Rongali Bihu due to the lockdown. There were no bihutolis — the venues for performing the Bihu and other tribal dances and performances by singers belting out crowd favourites. Popular artistes took to social media platforms to entertain people stuck in their homes due to the lockdown, trying to lift the despondent mood.
Continuing heavy rain since Saturday night have severely hit Id shopping while trade activities in the wholesale and retail commodity markets also remained curtailed owing to fewer number of buyers in Dhubri district on Sunday.
With less than 24 hours left for Id, storms left many areas of Dhubri town submerged, including the busiest (NS Road) market areas. Several other parts of the town were also affected.
The district administration was also issued a precautionary warning regarding heavy rain and thunderstorms this morning and warned peoples to stay home.
Additional reporting by Mukesh Kumar Singh in Dhubri