India celebrates Eid with prayers for peace
New Delhi: With feasts, warm "Eid Mubarak" greetings, and prayers for peace Muslims across the country celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr on Monday, marking the end of the holy month of Ramzan.
Tight security was in place in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and in the national capital to ensure the festival passes off peacefully.
In Assam, singed with the recent communal violence, peace was the focal point of celebrations as thousands of people offered Namaz-e-Eid at mosques across the state, including in the troubled Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri districts where 77 people have been killed in ethnic clashes and more than four lakh displaced.
Thousands of Muslims participated in special prayers organised at Eidgahs, mosques and open grounds and prayed for lasting peace in Assam, particularly in the Bodoland Territorial Areas Districts.
In Karnataka, thousands of Muslims celebrated Eid amid tight security in Bangalore and other cities.
About 20,000 policemen were deployed across the southern metropolis after 30,000 northeast people left the city for Guwahati August 15-17 following rumours of attacks on them.
Eid was celebrated amid peace and religious fervour across Mumbai and Maharashtra with Muslims offering special congregational prayers as thanksgiving to mark the end of the month of Ramzan.
In most areas of Mumbai, including Colaba, Nagpada, Mazgaon and Mahim, the celebrations began with the bursting of fire crackers.
Tens of thousands of Muslims across Andhra Pradesh on Monday offered 'Namaz-e-Eid' at Eidgahs, open grounds and mosques to mark the end of the fasting month of Ramzan.
Wearing new clothes and skull caps, men and children offered prayers as Eid was celebrated with traditional fervour in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, Nizamabad, Adilabad, Karimnagar, Kurnool, Guntur, Vijayawada, Kadapa and other towns of Andhra Pradesh.
Special 'duas' (prayers of supplication) for the Muslims of Assam and Myanmar marked the namaz. The Jamaat-e-Islami, Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) and other organisations collected funds to help the victims of Assam and Myanmar violence.
Muslims celebrated the Eid by meeting and greeting their relatives and friends. Visitors were treated with 'sheer khorma', a sweet dish made of vermicelli, milk and dry fruits.
Children were a happy lot as they received 'Eidi', the money given by elders during the festival.
In Jammu and Kashmir, a stray incident of some youths torching a police vehicle in Srinagar was reported as Eid-ul-Fitr prayers were offered amid peace and tranquility across the state.
Senior police officials were rushed to the spot where some youths indulged in stone pelting at the security forces.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and members of his council of ministers joined devotees in offering prayers.
All senior separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Shabir Shah, Muhammad Yasin Malik and Muhammad Nayeem Khan, were placed under house arrest in Srinagar.
Authorities have been preventing the separatist leaders from addressing large public meetings since the 2010 summer unrest, in which 107 people were killed in bloody clashes with the security forces.
In the national capital, Muslims dressed in their finest as they congregated in thousands at mosques all over the city. The centrepiece was the historic Jama Masjid in the walled city.
In the backdrop of the ethnic violence in Assam and thousands of people from the northeast fleeing places like Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune following rumours that they would be attacked, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the shahi imam of Jama Masjid, said people should not fall prey to rumours and maintain peace and calm.
"I appeal to the Muslims to not fall prey to rumours. Maintain peace and calm wherever you are," Bukhari said.
In Uttar Pradesh, Muslims turned up in large numbers at the Aishbagh Eidgah in Lucknow where the afternoon prayers were led by Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahli.
Senior Samajwadi Party (SP) leader and Urban Development Minister Mohammad Azam Khan and Peace Party of India president Mohammad Ayub, in separate statements, called for peace and cautioned people to be wary of rumours in the aftermath of the Assam and Myanmar violence.