'Mosques, churches, temples likely to open from June 1'

Mosques, churches likely to open along with temples from June 1: Karnataka CM B S Yediyurappa

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa. (DH Photo)

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday said along with temples, mosques and churches too are likely to be opened for devotees from June 1, and his government was awaiting permission from the Centre in this connection.

The Chief Minister also said he has written to the Prime Minister regarding reopening of hotels. "Temples will open from June 1, for hotels and others we want permission from Delhi, from the Prime Minister, I have written a letter, the expectation is that mostly we will get permission," Yediyurappa said.

DH was first to report that the state government on Tuesday hinted that places of religious worship may be allowed to reopen from June 1, keeping social distancing and other norms in place.

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Speaking to reporters here, he said, "once we say temples can open, churches and mosques should also open, there will be no restrictions on them. In our country law is same for every one.... but for all this central government's permission is required, we are waiting for it, our efforts are on in this direction. We have to start living with COVID-19 and steps need to be taken towards it, he added.

Yediyurappa's statement was in response to questions raised by some sections about opening temples and no mention about mosques and churches. Hindu religious institutions and charitable endowments (Muzrai) Minister Kota Srinivas Poojary on Tuesday a after meeting with the CM and senior officials had said, temples in the state that were closed for devotees for over two months due to COVID-19 induced lockdown will be opened from June 1.

The standard operating procedure (SOP) is likely to be put in place, that needs to be followed at temples once opened for public. However, official sources had said, the decision of opening temples will be subject to Centre's guidelines on the next course of lockdown. The national lockdown enforced by the Centre to stem the spread of Coronavirus since March 25, and in its fourth leg now, is slated till May 31.

On the lack of food and accommodation facilities for people coming from outside and distant places, without hotels, Yediyurappa said, he has written a letter to the Prime Minister, once permission is received, they will be allowed to open. Responding to a question regarding the opening of malls and cinemas, he said, "all those will depend on the centre's permission, I cannot take a decision." Responding to a question about financial package announced by his government not reaching those in distress yet, Yediyurappa he merely said. "... we have done what needed for all sections beyond our limits. Our work will please even the gods." There has been some criticism of the government about the package announced, not reaching beneficiaries yet.

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