A different beginning of Ramadan

Tapos Kanti Das | Updated at 11:20pm on April 26, 2020

images

A man sells iftar items at a makeshift shop on Alauddin Road in Old Dhaka on Saturday defying restriction on roadside sale during the public holidays to check coronavirus spread. — Indrajit Kumer Ghosh

The country on Saturday witnessed a different beginning of Ramadan, the month of fasting for Muslims, with offering Tarawih prayers at homes and almost no iftar items on roadside stalls due to the spread of coronavirus infection that has become a pandemic.

The government allowed not more than 12 people, including staff, in each of mosque to say Tarawih prayers and directed law enforcement agencies not to allow any roadside ifter shops to maintain social distancing to prevent spread of coronavirus infection.

Besides, as per the government order, the shops are allowed to keep open until 2:00pm, the sale of ifter items that generally used to take place in the afternoon has remained suspended.

No traditional ifter bazaar on the streets gave Dhaka an unusual look on the first day of Ramadan. Usually Dhaka streets turn busy in the afternoon offering variety of ifter items in street shops and city people could think of breaking their fasting without ifter items from roadside shops.

This year they had to take homemade ifter items at their homes as the country is witnessing a public holiday and shutdown since March 26 and people’s movement was restricted after 6:00pm.

Old Dhaka roads that are the hubs of hundreds of makeshift street shops of delicious iftar items prepared from meat, vegetables, sweets, milk and other ingredients and where people from different city areas used to rush to buy delicious ifter items, remained almost empty.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Lalbagh division deputy commissioner Muntasirul Islam said that the inspector general of police had instructed cops across the country not to allow any hawkers or street food items during this Ramadan and they were enforcing the instruction accordingly.

A negligible number of street shops with a few ifter items were seen at Nazimuddin Road in old Dhaka.

New Age correspondent in Chattogram reported that army patrolling was strengthened in the port city to prevent people from going to mosques as a number of mosques on Friday announced that they would hold Tarawih prayers in the mosques defying the Islamic Foundation directive.