Eid behind the closed doors of the quarantine

Mafazah Sharafuddin
May 11, 2021

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As the third Eid during the pandemic rolls around, tensions remain high. India is not the only country feeling the strain of the situation. All over the world, governments prepare for the surge in cases that could occur due to gatherings. 

Eid ul-Fitr masks the end of Ramadan, the month during which Muslims fast from dawn to dusk in an act of devotion and worship. In 2020, Ramadan came around shortly after the lockdown was implemented in most places. The internet was flooded with messages with sympathy and solidarity for those spending the month alone, isolated from their loved ones. A year from then, the narrative has become less wholesome. 

Eid celebration in 2021 is comes with Oman canceling Eid prayers, Malaysia imposing a travel ban, Pakistan imposing a complete lockdown etc. 

Ramadan is not simply a month of personal spiritual growth. Ramadan and Eid are seen as community events, with Iftaar (breaking of the fast) get-togethers and congregated prayers. It is celebrated with joint meals, giving charity, giving food to the needy. Eid generally begins with a congregated Eid prayer in the community, which is followed by a sermon. 

People dress in new clothes. The girls put on mehendi. The houses are filled with the aroma of biryani cooking. Like any other celebration, it is a community coming together to share in each other’s joy. 

The atmosphere right now, however, is grim. The COVID situation in India is capturing global attention as children are orphaned and corpses are abandoned by their families in fear of infection. There is a pervading sense of fear and dread in the air, and it is not without a cause. 

Despite all this, awareness and understanding of the virus is not as widespread as it should be. Even now, COVID safety protocols are not being followed unanimously. Even as news channels report the piling of bodies in crematoriums, the people in the crematoriums are clustered together, not all of them wearing masks. 

Many Muslims struggle to cope with this version of Ramadan with no taraweeh (congregated evening prayers) and the heavy burden of grief and loss of loved ones. However, in that sense, we as a plural society are united. The feeling of being fearful for one’s safety, and they safety of one’s loved ones, the constant pain of death in the family, the isolation, these have become universal feelings. 

The financial strain brought about by the pandemic is another unifying feeling. Several people have lost their jobs due to COVID. People who work on daily wage have taken a terrible financial hit. The mounting hospital bills, the funeral costs, the air fares that skyrocketed during the pandemic etc. all contribute to it. 

There simply isn’t much room for festivity.

Every celebration in the past year has been muted and subdued. While there certainly were outliers who preferred to shirk the COVID guidelines, for the most part, all the festivals have faced a damper. Even the iconic crystal ball drop on New Year’s Eve in Times Square was done on a fairly empty square, as compared the usual throng of people. 

Eid ul-Fitr 2021 will be the same. 

While many organizations clamor to get food to those who need it, there is no doubt that the number of people who will go hungry this year will be higher than usual. Even charity has to be done from a distance. 

Yet, the foreboding atmosphere is not all there is to it. Even if charity is being done from a distance, it is happening. People are trying to feed the needy. Volunteers are running helplines. There are people surging up to assist each other with finding beds, oxygen etc. 

No singular ritual embodies the idea of Eid the way the feeling of community, gratitude and service done in the way of belief does. Despite the grim times we are in, the palms will still go red with mehendi, and the community will rise to aid one another. 

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News Network
June 6,2021

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New Delhi, June 6: A court here turned down a plea of Delhi Police to produce former JNU student Umar Khalid and activist Khalid Saifi in handcuffs before trial courts, noting that “they are not gangsters”.

The plea application which came up for hearing before Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav sought to produce the 2020 Delhi riots accused in “handcuffs in both hands from back side”, contending that they are “high-risk prisoners”.

The judge dismissed the plea observing that it is devoid of merits and filed in a mechanical manner and without application of mind by the high echelons of the Delhi Police and prison authority.

“The accused persons, who are sought to be produced in fetters and handcuffs, are admittedly not previous convicts. They are not even gangsters,” the Additional Sessions Judge stated in an order dated June 5.

He further said that the plea is not required at this stage as the accused are not being produced in the court physically due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The judge also noted the replies submitted by the Superintendent of Mandoli and Tihar jail, Additional DCP (Special Cell) and DCP of third battalion of Delhi Police, on the plea.

The DCP told the court that in the aftermath of an attempt made by armed assailants to free an undertrial prisoner at GTB Hospital, the police had decided to request the court for permission to handcuff high-risk prisoners who are prone to escape.

“As part of the exercise, the current application for handcuffing UTPs Umar Khalid and Khalid Saifi was moved for the consideration of Hon'ble Court,” the senior police officer stated in a reply submitted to the court on April 26.

However, in the reply given by the Additional DCP of Special Cell, it was stated that no such application seeking to produce both the accused in handcuffs, was filed before any court or other authority. 

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Ahmed Ali Kulai
 - 
Monday, 7 Jun 2021

Scenario: Now after the court rejection to handcuff these 2 students to produce in the court, police may create a scene by forcing these two students to run away while moving to court, so that they can say to court that we asked court to allow to handcuff but court refused.

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News Network
June 5,2021

Bengaluru, June 5: The state government on Saturday shunted out Mysuru deputy commissioner Rohini Sindhuri and Mysuru City Corporation commissioner Shilpa Nag following their ugly public spat over the past few days.

Bagadi Gautham, a 2009 batch IAS officer, replaces Sindhuri as Mysuru DC while G Lakshmikanh Reddy, 2015 batch IAS officer, takes over from Shilpa.

While Sindhuri has been posted commissioner of Hindu religious and charitable endowments, Bengaluru, Nag will be director of e-governance in rural development and panchayat raj department.

The government was contemplating action against them after Shilpa resigned from the IAS over alleged harassment by Sindhuri. It had also launched a probe into the construction of a gym and swimming pool at the DC's residence allegedly in violation of heritage laws. The spat between the officers was unseemly, coming as it did amid a huge spike in Covid cases in Mysuru district.

Among the other transfers, P Rajendra Cholan has been posted as managing director, Bescom, and will hold concurrent charge as special commissioner (health and IT), BBMP. 

Resignation and U-turn

Shilpa Nag on Thursday had announced her resignation from the service, citing harassment and humiliation from Deputy Commissioner Rohini Sindhuri. However on Saturday she took a U-turn from her decision. She decided to resume work from Sunday.

It has to be noted that Nag had taken her resignation papers to Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar during his visit to Mysuru on Friday but, the CS did not accept the paper and suggested her to reconsider the decision.

“I have sent resignation papers through register post and also e-mailed it,” Nag said. District in-charge Minster S T Somashekar and others suggested her not to resign, she said.

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News Network
June 8,2021

Udupi, June 8: The principal district and sessions court in Udupi today held the three accused in the Bhaskar Shetty murder case guilty and awarded them life sentence.

The court awarded life sentence to Rajeshwari Shetty, wife of Bhaskar Shetty, Navaneet Shetty, son, and priest/astrologer Niranjan Bhat.

The NRI businessman and hotelier Bhaskar Shetty, 52, a resident of Indrali in Udupi, was murdered brutally by his wife Rajeshwari along with their son Navaneet, priest/ astrologer Niranjan Bhat, his father Srinivas, who died when the trial was in progress, and Raghavendra, a driver, on July 28, 2016.

The court convicted Shetty’s wife, son and the astrologer in the morning and later awarded life sentence to them in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, Raghavendra has been acquitted.

While Rajeshwari had obtained bail, son Navaneet and astrologer Bhat are in jail.

The prosecution commenced the final arguments in the sensational murder case through senior counsel and Special Public Prosecutor M Shantharam Shetty.

Sessions judge Subramanya J N pronounced the final verdict.

It may be recalled that on July 29, 2016, Gulabi Shetty, mother of Shetty, tried to get in touch with her son over the phone and when there was no response she complained to Manipal Police that her son was missing.

The convicts had brutally murdered Bhaskar Shetty and burnt his body in a Homa Kunda at the residence of an astrologer.

Shetty’s bones were recovered from a river in Nandalike on August 10, 20216.

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