People should not congregate at 'Chaityabhoomi' here on Dr B R Ambedkars death anniversary on December 6 this year considering the COVID-19 crisis, said Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday.
According to an official statement, Thackeray appealed to people to pay respect to the chief architect of the Constitution from wherever they are.
He made the remarks during a review meeting held in view of Ambedkars 64th Mahaparinirvan Din (death anniversary), the statement said.
The chief minister welcomed the Mahaparinirvan Din Coordination Committees appeal to Ambedkars followers that they should not come to Mumbai on December 6 given the prevailing COVID-19 situation, the statement said.
He said the committee's decision to pay respect to Ambedkar in the presence of a handful of people instead of congregating at the site in large numbers is also welcoming.
Every year, thousands of people from across the state converge at Ambedkar's memorial 'Chaityabhoomi' in Dadar on December 6 to pay respect to the leading socio-political reformer and jurist.
"The Mahaparinirvan Din is a day to pay respects to Bharat Ratna Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. All that is required to pay respect (to Ambedkar) will be done.
The people, however, should not congregate at Chaityabhoomi in Mumbai this year given the COVID-19 crisis.
The followers should show maturity of their thinking through action considering the situation, the statement quoted Thackeray as saying.
To drive home his point, Thackeray said 'Pandharpur Wari' (pilgrimage) and Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray's death anniversary recently, too, were low-key affairs this year given the COVID-19 outbreak.
The statement said flowers will be showered on Ambedkars memorial from a helicopter, while the main anniversary event will be broadcast live on different media platforms.
"You (people) should pay respect from where you are, the chief minister added.
Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, Social Justice Minister Dhananjay Munde, Mumbais Guardian Minister Aslam Shaikh and senior officials were present for the meeting.