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Prayers for Palestinians top the list as Muslim celebrate Eid across India
Tuesday July 29, 2014 4:08 PM, & Agencies

: Millions of Muslims across the length and breadth of India Tuesday prayed for the Palestinians, who are currently engaged in a fierce battle with Israel, on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr.

Malegaon Eidgah
[Muslims gathered at Mohammadia Eidgah in Maleagon to offer special Eid prayers on Tuesday July 29, 2014. ( photo)]

In special Eid prayers offered in Eidgahs and mosques, Indian Muslims - men, women and children all, raised their hands to seek the divine help and prayed for the defeat of the Israeli forces, who are occupying Palestine since more than sixty years.

Though rains in most of the places, including Mumbai and Hyderabad, stopped Muslims from going to Eidgahs, at many places Eidgah grounds were filled with worshippers. In Malegaon, over 01 lakh Muslims offered special Eid prayers at Camp Eidgah ground alone. Other Eidgah grounds in this Muslim dominated textile city were also abuzz with the congregations of Muslim worshippers.

In Mumbai, heavy rains forced the Muslims to offer Eid prayers in mosques. But, albeit the rains, the fervour the Eid al-Fitr is famous for was in full display in the Maharashtra capital.

In Kerala, Muslims celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr Tuesday with religious fervour, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. This is a rarest of rarest occasion when the Keralites are celebrating Eid with Muslims in other parts of the country. Normally, Eid moon is sighted in this coastal state a day before the other parts.

In a state where Muslims account for a quarter of the state's 33 million people, the biggest congregations took place in Muslim dominated areas such as Malappuram, Kozhikode and Kannur.

Muslims also gathered in large numbers for prayers in major cities like Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.

In most cities, the Eid prayers took place in open grounds and stadiums to accommodate the large crowds.

At Kochi, where rains played spoilsport, Eid prayers took place in mosques.

Malayalam superstar Mammootty and his actor son Dulqar Salman turned up at a mosque in Vytilla near Kochi for the morning prayers.

Here again, special prayers were offered for the victims of the Israeli bombing of Gaza.

The Kerala government has declared a two-day holiday for all educational institutions and government offices on the occasion of Eid.

In Tamil Nadu, tens of thousands of Muslims offered special Eid prayers in mosques across the state.

In Uttar Pradesh, with security forces keeping a close vigil in Saharanpur and Rampur which have been hit by communal violence, hundreds and thousands of Muslims went to mosques and offered prayers on the culmination of the month-long Ramadan.

There were special prayers for the community's and the country's prosperity. Namaaz was offered at Eidgah and Tile Wali Masjid here in Lucknow.

In Saharanpur, authorities late Monday decided that people could offer Eid prayers in neighbourhood mosques.

Three people were killed in Saharanpur following clashes between Muslims and Sikhs Saturday. Three other people were killed and over a dozen injured Monday when a minor brawl turned ugly in Rampur.

Curfew was relaxed in some areas of Saharanpur from 7 to 11 a.m. But there was no relief on Ambala Road where the clashes erupted.

In Rajasthan, prayers were offered at congregations held at various places. In state capital Jaipur, thousands of Muslims gathered to offer prayers at Eidgah on the outskirts of the city and Jama Masjid in Johri Bazar area.

"We offered prayers for the dead in Gaza and denounced Israel's attacks on innocent people," Khalid Usmani, president of All India Darul Qazat (AIDQ) told IANS.

People attired in new clothes were seen greeting each other and distributing sweets after performing namaaz in the morning. In some places, Hindus also exchanged greetings with Muslims.

Before offering prayers, Muslim families paid Fitra or charity of at least Rs.35 on behalf of each member as per the Islamic rules so that the poor can also celebrate the festival.

The Kashmir Valley celebrated Eid with the usual religious fervour after the morning festivities were marred by clashes between bands of youths and security forces.

Once peace returned to the valley post afternoon, people exchanged Eid greetings with families and friends in Srinagar and all major towns in the valley.

Most families were huddled in the comfort of their homes, enjoying the delicacies that go with Eid, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Earlier, clashes erupted between stone-throwing youths and security personnel at over a dozen places in the valley, including Srinagar, the hub of the separatist campaign.

The clashes were reported from Baramulla, Sopore and Anantnag towns and some places in Srinagar city. In most places, police exercised restraint while dispersing the protesters keeping in mind the Eid atmosphere.

But even as the violence raged, thousands offered Eid prayers peacefully in most places in the Kashmir Valley.

The rural areas were peaceful. In urban centres, normalcy returned to areas affected by incidents of stone pelting.

The administration had placed separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Shabir Ahmad Shah and Muhammad Yasin Malik, under house arrest to maintain peace.

The day marked the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Muslims exchanged greetings with relatives and friends after the morning prayers.

President of India Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have greeted fellow citizens on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr.

President on Eid
[President Pranab Mukherjee receiving greeting from a child on the occasion of Eid al- Fitr, at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on July 29, 2014]

“On the auspicious occasion of Eid al-Fitr, I extend warm greetings and good wishes to all fellow citizens, particularly to my Muslim brothers and sisters in India and abroad”, the president said in a statement.

“As we celebrate this day, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, I hope that the festival with its tradition of giving and sharing enriches our lives with a spirit of brotherhood and empathy for the deprived”, he added.

“May Eid al-Fitr reinforce the nation’s commitment to mutual harmony and radiate the message of India’s composite culture to the whole world”, he said.

Vice President Hamid Ansari also greeted the citizens of India on the occasion.

“I convey my warm greetings and best wishes to the citizens of our country on the joyous occasion of Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. This festival celebrates the essential unity of mankind and highlights the human values of peaceful coexistence, love and compassion”, he said.

In his message, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Greetings on Eid al-Fitr. May this auspicious day strengthen the bond of peace, unity & brotherhood across our Nation".

The Prime Minister also greeted Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Minister for Minority Affairs Dr. Najma Heptulla and former Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, on the occasion.

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