Delhi’s Jama Masjid shut till June 30: Shahi Imam
Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari
Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari

New Delhi: The historic Jama Masjid will be closed for devotees with immediate effect till June 30 in view of “critical” conditions in the city due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, the mosque’s Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari (in pic inset) said on Thursday. Bukhari said he took the decision after consulting public and Islamic scholars.

The development comes after the Shahi Imam’s secretary Amanullah died due to the novel coronavirus at the Safdarjung Hospital on Tuesday night. The Shahi Imam said, “If the situation arises where the human life is at risk, it becomes obligatory to protest ones life.”

“Majority of the opinion is that saving of the human lives is paramount and the Shariah (Islamic jurisprudence) has ample excuse for this,” he said. After taking public opinion and consulting scholars, it has been decided that from ‘maghrib’ (sunset) on Thursday till June 30, no congregational prayers will be performed in the Jama Masjid, Bukhari said. “A select few people shall perform the daily five times namaz while the general worshippers will perform the prayers at their homes,” he added.

According to latest official figures, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Delhi is over 32,810 including 984 deaths. The number of active coronavirus patients in the city is over 19,580.

Devotees not to enter Sabarimala

In a U-turn, the Kerala govt on Thursday decided not to allow devotees into the shrine of Lord Ayyappa at Sab­a­rimala when it opens for the monthly ‘pujas’ from June 14 after its high priest opposed permitting the public citing rise in COVID-19 cases. Announc­ing the decision, Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Suren­dran said a 10-day fest planned from June 19 at Sabarimala has been po­st­poned for the second time.

2 more officials test +ve; cases at rail Hq 18

New Delhi: Two more railway officials tested positive for coronavirus at Rail Bhavan here on Thursday, taking the total number of cases detected so far in the building to 18, officials said.

A couple of days after two officials tested COVID-19 positive, two more — both section officers — in key departments have been found to have contracted the virus.

The first is a officer associated with the office of Executive Director of Corporate Coordination of the Railway Board, who last attended work on June 1. 13 officials were told to home quarantine till June 15.

The other official is associated with the finance directorate and last attended office on May 20.

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