Concern over Id-ul-Fitr shopping crowds
The Dhubri district Youth Congress committee on Tuesday submitted a memorandum to chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal demanding closure of all garment and footwear shops in this lower Assam town with immediate effect.
The move came after huge crowds thronged markets across Dhubri district for Id shopping after the deputy commissioner, in an order on May 14, allowed opening of cloth, garment and footwear shops on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, following the removal of the orange zone tag from the district.
In the memorandum submitted to Sonowal through deputy commissioner Anant Lal Gyani, the Youth Congress alleged that the decision of the district administration amid the coronavirus pandemic had attracted unnecessary crowds in the markets, hampering the norms of social distancing and also increasing the chance of infection.
According to the memorandum, the district had five Covid-19 patients and nearly 5,000 migrant labourers and students have been put in quarantine.
They said when Covid-19 cases are increasing across the country, if the crowding in Dhubri markets was not curbed, then the people will soon have to cope with the pandemic.
Huge crowds thronged the hawkers’ market here, with customers standing or sitting close together. There are nearly 100 readymade garments shops in the market spread over less than 100 metres.
“We are well aware about the pandemic, but the children won’t listen. We don’t want to break their hearts. After all it’s Id,” said one of the shoppers.
A shopkeeper alleged the customers refused to follow the social distancing norms.
This unprecedented crowd in the markets of Dhubri district amid the pandemic has raised serious concern among the common people.
Earlier, Dhubri MP and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) chief Badruddin Ajmal had appealed to the people not to throng the markets for Id shopping.
A police officer said, “All shopkeepers and customers must follow the norms for their own safety. Otherwise, we will have to face a terrible situation in the coming days.”
He said the shops have been instructed to allow only a particular number of customers at a time and also to provide them hand-washing facilities and sanitisers.
Relaxation has been given for the benefit of the public, so they have to follow the minimum social distancing norms and should avoid going to the markets unless necessary, he said.