Defying lockdown, crowd gathers at Bengal temples for Ram Navami

Kolkata, April 2 (IANS) Defying the ongoing lockdown, people gathered in strength before Ram temples to offer prayerson Ram Navami while congestion in several large daily markets in the city threw social distancing norms out of the window on Thursday.
A large number of pilgrims gathered outside the locked gates of the Ram temple on Chittaranjan Avenue in central Kolkata to offer prayers.
The collapsible gate of the temple was kept shut in view of the Covid 19 induced lockdown, but that did not deter the devotees who arrived with flowers and fruits, and stood without caring to maintain any social distancing.
Police had a trying time controlling the crowd, which refused to pay any heed to their warnings.
“We all are very careful. But we have come here for 10 minutes only to attend the rituals. We are trying to maintain social distancing. I am telling everybody to keep distance between one another. But nobody is listening,” said a devotee.
Around 440 kilometers away in South Dinajpur district’s Balurghat, a fair – an annual event – was organised close to the Ram Temple.
A large number of locals also offered prayers to the temple.
A huge number of people also gathered at the famous daily markets in central Kolkata -Kolay Market, and Baithakkhana Bazar, defying the norms in place.

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