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Unlock 1.0: Most places of worship to open in MP from Monday

Google Oneindia News

Bhopal, June 07: Places of worship outside containment zones in several places in Madhya Pradesh will reopen from Monday, when several restrictions for the coronavirus-induced lockdown are set to be eased, though no decision has been taken for red zones Indore and Bhopal.

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    The state government had issued the standard operating procedure (SOP) for religious places on June 5.

    Shivraj Singh Chouhan

    According to an official, the doors of Ujjain's famous Mahakaleshwar Temple, one of the 12 'jyotirlingas' which attracts several lakh devotees every year, would open from 8 am on Monday, though another 'jyortilinga' at Omkareshwar in Khandwa district, will follow the suit on June 16.

    Mahakaleshwar Temple administrator SS Rawat said only pre-registered devotees would be allowed to enter the temple, adding that 350 such persons would be allowed in every hour, with the daily limit set at 2,800.

    "All social distancing measures have been adopted. Ten sanitisation machines have been installed at the gates. The entry of devotees would be stopped for an hour after every two hours to sanitise the campus," Rawat informed.

    Ujjain Collector Ashish Singh said Kal Bhairav temple, the gurudwara at Freeganj, a Catholic church, Jama Masjid and Madina Masjid would also open. Rao Devendra Singh, a trustee of Omkareshwar temple, said it would open on June 16.

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    Datia's famous Pitambara Peeth will also open its doors for devotees from Monday with pre-registration, Gwalior Divisional Commissioner MB Ojha said. He told PTI that all places of worship are allowed to open from Monday in all districts in the division.

    Bishop Gerald Almeida of Catholic Diocese of Jabalpur told PTI, "We have prepared guidelines for churches based on SOPs issued by the government.

    Churches have been asked to increase the number of services to accommodate devotees while adhering to social distancing norms.

    Also, it must be ensured that every devoteeuses face mask and sanitizer." Bhopal Collector Tarun Pithode said a meeting of religious leaders took place on Sunday, and it was decided that the meeting would reconvene on June 12 to discuss when places of worship can open.

    Maria Stephan, public relations officer (PRO) of the Christian Dioceses of Madhya Pradesh State told PTI in Bhopal that churches will follow the guidelines and directives of the state government.

    Bhopal-based Masajid Committee office-bearer Yasser Arafat told PTI the decision to open mosques would be taken as per directives of the local administration, adding that mosques in red zones like Bhopal and Indore would not open as of now.

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