By Pragya Kaushika
New Delhi [India], Apr 2 (ANI): On the day when RSS-affiliate Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) is celebrating Ram Navami without much fanfare, it has urged the leaders of the Muslim community to respect government directive regarding COVID-19 on social distancing and close mosques in the interests of society.
The VHP re-emphasised the fact that that nation comes ahead of religion and that the Muslim community should embrace cremation for COVID-19 patients instead of burying them.
Milind Parande, secretary-General, VHP urged that clerics should voluntarily close mosques till the nation is gripped by the coronavirus pandemic.
"Unfortunate events in Nizamuddin have come to light. Mosques should voluntarily close down in the interest of society. Keep religion aside and keep the concern of social safety in mind. Because of burying, corona might spread, so, they should think about cremating the dead bodies in nation's interest," Parande said.
VHP's statement has come soon after a spurt of COVID-19 cases linked to the religious gathering held at Markaz, Nizamuddin in Delhi were reported from across the country.
The VHP functionary said that few mosques are staying adamant and not following the protocols laid down by the government.
"Action should be taken against those not following government directives. Those Maulvis who have come flouting visa norms should be blacklisted and action should be taken against them," he added.
Parande pointed out that despite today being first Ram Navami after the Supreme Court verdict in favour of Ram Janmabhoomi, the celebration has been kept low key-across the country, even in Ayodhya.
"Some saints, purohits and officials will visit the garbhgriha (sanctum sanctorum) for pooja in Ayodhya. These would only be a handful. To keep the society safe is the foremost dharma in present times," the VHP functionary said.
The total number of coronavirus cases in India climbed to 1965 on Thursday after 131 people confirmed positive in the past 12 hours, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
At present, there are 1764 COVID-19 active cases in the country and 50 people have died due to the lethal infection. (ANI)