After thousands of people attended religious leader Moulana Khairul Islam Mufti's funeral in Assam's Nagaon district on Thursday, officials have imposed lockdown in three surrounding villages fearing the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic, reported The Indian Express.
As per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs amid the lockdown enforced due to COVID-19, a maximum of 20 people can only participate in the funeral or last rites of a deceased. However, the guidelines were completely violated at Khairul Islam's funeral.
In videos and pictures that went viral on social media post the funeral, the people were seen disobeying social distancing norms and the guidelines laid down to prevent the spread of the virus. As per a local news website, many people were not even wearing masks. High profile public leaders were also present to pay their tributes.
Khairul Islam was the Vice-President of the All India Jamiat Ulema and an “Aamir-e-Shariat” for the Northeast. He was the father of AIUDF (All India United Democratic Front) MLA Aminul Islam from Dhing constituency.
Aminul Islam said that his father was a very renowned figure and had a very large following. “We had communicated to the administration about the death and the funeral. Accordingly, to limit the number of participants, the police also asked many vehicles to revert back. But still people found ways to turn up,” he told IE.
Meanwhile, district administration officials estimate at least 10,000 people were present for the funeral and two police cases have been filed. Nagaon Deputy Commissioner Jadav Saikia said that there was no law and order issues in the gathering but violation of the ongoing pandemic laws. "The cases are not against any individual but against violators. We will investigate the case and proceed as per law,” he said.