India

Opposition demands easing of curbs

Congress, Muslim League want govt. to open places of worship

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president K. Sudhakaran on Friday signalled that the party would not swallow the State government’s COVID-19 management strategy hook, line and sinker.

He questioned the wisdom of keeping places of worship shuttered while allowing buyers to swamp liquor outlets and bars. “The government should explain the rationale behind the decision.” Cinema halls and public libraries should allow patrons, he said.

The mental distress caused by stay-at-home orders and loss of livelihood was unquantifiable. The government should urgently open parks, beaches, weekend holiday destinations, and walking circuits. Avenues of relaxation could not remain shuttered forever. He questioned the wisdom of weekend lockdowns. It had caused people to resort to panic buying on Fridays.

Briefing newspersons after a meeting of the Indian Union Muslim League national political advisory committee in Kozhikode, party organising secretary E.T. Mohammed Basheer and general secretary P.K. Kunhalikutty said the government stringently took a stance against opening places of worship while it allowed relaxations even to liquor outlets to function. “Freedom to worship is part of a belief. It has now become inevitable to open places of worship,” Mr. Basheer said.

CM reaction

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, “Kerala has not reached the stage where it can allow places of worship to open. The test positivity rate is declining. If the trend holds, we can think of easing of the restrictions.” The government would review the restrictions on Wednesday.


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