Muslims offer Eid prayers across India amid tight security (Update: Eid)
Bangalore/Lucknow/Hyderabad, Aug.20 (ANI): Muslims across India, and particularly in the cities of Bangalore, Hyderabad and Lucknow, celebrated Eid-al-Fitr on Monday and offered prayers to mark the end of the fasting month of Ramadan amid the tight security.
Rumours of Muslim retaliation at the end of the holy month of Ramadan this week have swirled, with threats of attacks on northeast Indians carried on social media and phone text messages.
R Roshan Baig, a Congress leader, appealed to people not to pay heed to rumours, as it was an attempt to disrupt peace and communal harmony in Karnataka.
"Everybody prayed for a common sentiment that there should be peace in this country and state. The rumours, which are doing rounds that violence will erupt after Eid are false. Muslims are going to celebrate this festival with their Hindu brothers by eating Biryani. All rumours are false and misleading and it is a conspiracy. I would once again appeal to people not to pay heed to these rumours," said Baig.
As a result of these threatening rumours, more than 30,000 panic-stricken migrants from the northeast working in cities such as Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad rushed back to their homes in the northeast.
How safe they will be there is open to question - two of those fleeing were killed and nine were injured on Sunday after they were pushed from a moving train.
Bangalore's Police Commissioner Jyoti Prakash Mirji told reporters that normalcy has returned to the city.
"As such, we don't expect any problem and we have seen that they are peacefully observing the festival and the prayers are going on. When we were talking also we could see that two northeastern boys and girls also came. We had also talked to them and they said that they had no fear and they were just working nearby. Media persons witnessed it also. So, there is no problem. I think the entire thing will go peacefully and from few days because of some SMSs and Facebook etc some very-very thick tumours were there and because of the there was panic and all. Now, I think it is subsided," said Mirji.
However, Mirji added that as precautionary measure security would be stepped up from Monday evening onwards.
"We have increased the security. From today onwards we have stepped security more and we are getting more number of forces, paratroops and all. So we have increased security from today evening onwards but I am not expecting any problem. But as precautionary measures and to give confidence to the people and also we are having lot of cameras throughout Bangalore city and most of the persons are moving in plain clothes so that miscreants can be caught," said Mirji.
In Lucknow, Muslims thronged mosques to offer prayers.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav participated in the festivities and urged people to maintain peace.
"I would like to wish Muslims on the occasion of Eid. The way we are celebrating Eid with great happiness, I am confident that happiness will prevail across the state and country on this day. On this day we should vow that love and brotherhood between Hindus and Muslims should increase day by day and communal harmony should also prevail," said Yadav.
Devotees in Hyderabad also offered prayers in the presence of paramilitary personnel across the city.
The end of the holy month of Ramadan was declared with the sighting of moon across India on Sunday.
Muslims celebrate Eid wearing new clothes and many go out with their children to parks and amusement places, spending the whole day out. Balloons and taking swings in beautifully decorated cradles constitute some of the delights of children on Eid.
Nearly 80 people have been killed and 400,000 displaced in fighting between Muslims and mostly Hindu Bodo tribesmen in Assam in recent weeks.
The mass flight was sparked by rumours that Muslims, a big minority in predominantly Hindu India, were seeking revenge for the Assam violence.
The state and other parts of the northeast are home to hundreds of tribes and ethnic groups. Violence usually stems from tribal rivalries, anger against Muslim settlers from Bangladesh or from insurgencies.
The Home Ministry said on Saturday most of the text messages and website images originated in Pakistan.
Islamabad rejected the suggestion as "baseless and unfounded". (ANI)
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