In view of the ensuing festivals in the month of April 2020, Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has directed all States/UTs to ensure strict compliance of lockdown measures to fight COVID—19 and not allow any social/religious gathering/procession.
It has been communicated to inform District authorities and field agencies on the specific prohibitions as mentioned in the Consolidated Guidelines on Lockdown Measures and that they should take all required precautionary/preventive measures for maintenance of law and order, peace and public tranquillity. Appropriate vigil on social media should also be maintained against circulation of any objectionable content, the communication adds.
The communication has further requested that for the attention of the public authorities, social/religious organisation and citizens, the respective provisions of the guidelines should be widely circulated. It adds that for violation of any lockdown measure, action under the relevant penal provisions of the Disaster Management Act 2005 and IPC should be taken by the law enforcing agencies.
The consolidated guidelines on the lockdown measures to be taken by Ministries/ Departments of Government of India, State/Union Territory Governments and State/ Union Territory Authorities for containment of COVID-19 epidemic in the country were notified by Ministry of Home Affairs on 24.03.2020 and further modified on 25.03.2020, 27.03.2020, 02.04.2020 and 03.04.2020. Clause 9 & 10 of the Consolidated Guidelines state that no religious congregation will be permitted without any exception and all social/cultural/religious functions/gatherings shall be barred.