Dehradun: Under attack for declaring a 90-minute 'namaz' break for Muslims for Friday prayers, the Harish Rawat government has now said that Uttarakhand government employees, irrespective of their religion, caste and creed, will be allowed "special short breaks" to offer prayers during their festivals if they make a request for it.
"A decision has been taken to allow special short breaks to state employees of all communities, creeds and castes for prayers, religious occasions and festivals. It will be given only if they make a request,"Surendra Kumar, media advisor to the Chief Minister, said in a statement.
"The Chief Minister took the decision in view of the spurt in demands for holidays by state employees belonging to different religions and communities on festivals and religious occasions," he said.
The announcement came two days after the state cabinet allowed a 90-minute break for government staff to offer 'namaz' on Fridays.
The cabinet's decision to allow a special 90-minute break for Muslim employees on Friday had drawn flak from the opposition parties, including BJP, which had accused the government of indulging in "minority appeasement" ahead of Assembly polls.
With PTI inputs