PATNA: Hundreds of people gathered at marketplaces in the city on ‘Chand Raat’, the eve of Eid , for the last-minute shopping on Sunday.
The bustling Sabzibagh market areas were illuminated with colourful lights. However, shops in the locality which used to remain open throughout the night on the eve of Eid earlier, downed their shutters at 6pm following the directives of the district administration in view of coronavirus-induced lockdown.
SHO of Pirbahore police station Rizwan Khan said the shops were closed at 6pm and the police personnel deployed in the locality to ensure adherence of the government’s directives by the traders.
Mohd Shafi Khan, who owns a grocery store at Sabzibagh, said it was an unusual Eid eve this year because of lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic. “This year, we have sold only local ‘lachcha’ and ‘seviyan’. Due to the lockdown, ‘seviyan’ from Dehi and Kolkata, which find many takers, could not reach the city,” he said.
Like Khan, other traders were quite worried with the poor sales. Imran Ahmed, another local trader, many customers returned empty-handed as their turns did not come. “We allowed only six people at a time to maintain social distancing norms. As a result, many customers left the market without buying goods,” he said.
For some, it was like winning a war when they finally managed to buy essential items for the festival. Saquib Zeya, a resident of Naya Tola, said, “There was a mad rush of people to buy the ‘seviyan’, dry fruits, ‘naan-roti’ and ‘bakarkhani’. It took me nearly four hours to buy these items. Like me, many other people waited for hours in queue under the scorching sun for their turn to buy necessary items,” Zeya added.
Saman Mirza, a resident of Shah Ganj, said the district administration should have opened all shops at least for a day in view of Eid celebrations. “I could not buy anything this year due to the lockdown. We usually buy new clothes and home décor articles on the eve of Eid. However, as the shops were closed, we were left dejected this year,” Mirza added.
No special prayers at mosques today: Islamic bodies have announced that special Eid prayers will not be conducted at mosques or ‘khanqahs’ on Monday. Maulana Shibli Qasmi, general secretary of Imarat-e-Shariah, said the mosques would remain closed for the pubic or congregational prayer services. “People should offer Eid namaz at home,” he said.