Stressing on the need for strict adherence to lockdown, Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday appealed to Muslims to perform the coming Shab-e-Barat prayer from their homes for countering the challenge posed by Novel COVID 19.

Naqvi’s appeal assumes significance as it came amid a rapid spike in coronavirus cases and alleged flouting of lockdown norms by over three thousand Tablighi Jamaat Muslim missionaries who had gathered at their three-day event from 13-15 March in the middle of coronavirus pandemic in the heart of the national capital.

The officials have attributed a sudden increase in the number of COVID 19 patients to Tablighi Jamaat gathering and their subsequent dispersal across various states of the country. A large number of the participants at the Markaz in Nizamuddin have been quarantined and many have either succumbed to the viral infection or are still at large amid fears of further spread of the disease.

The Union Minister in a statement here appealed to Muslims to stay indoors and maintain social distance on the day of Shab-e-Barat, known as the night of forgiveness. Muslims all over the world gather in mosques and offer prayers on the occasion. This year Shab-e-Barat falls on the intervening night of April 8 and 9.

“All state waqf boards, through the Central Waqf Council, have been directed to assist the local administration in the implementation of the lockdown completely on Shab-e-Barat and appeal to the people to offer prayers and perform other religious rituals staying inside their homes,” Mukhtar Naqvi said.

“We should also pray at our homes to give strength to India and the entire world to eliminate the challenges posed by coronavirus,” Naqvi further appealed to the people.

The minister pointed out how the entire country is adhering strictly to the lockdown and called upon the devotees to do the same honestly and with all seriousness.

“Any type of carelessness can be harmful for us, our family, the society and the entire country. We should follow the guidelines of the administration to defeat coronavirus with all seriousness and honesty,” Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi further appealed.

Authorities in various states across the country including in Jammu and Kashmir also have meanwhile made similar requests to the people to perform Shab-e-Barat prayers from their homes.