Kolkata (West Bengal) , June 1: Even as West Bengal government declared that places of worship will open for devotees from Monday, some places such as the famed Kalighat Temple and the Cathedral Church in Kolkata remained shut for now.
Portals of the oldest Kalighat Temple remained closed today and people were seen offering prayers from outside the temple while the shops in its vicinity selling puja items also remain shut.
One devotee said, "I heard that the temple was opening today so I came but found it shut. Does not matter we have offered our prayers from outside."
Shopkeepers too were a worried lot as they could not sell any puja items.
"Temples were scheduled to open from June 1 but this temple is closed. This has escalated the problems for shopkeepers and priests here," said Ashok Kumar Ghosh, a shopkeeper.
Similarly barring a few, churches in Kolkata have also not reopened. The Cathedral Church continues to remain closed for public and is only opened for workers for cleaning purposes.
The Church of Our Lady of Dolours, Sealdah has opened but permits only 10 people to offer prayers at one time.
"I am staying in the church campus but so many people have been living far away and have been unable to visit the church. We have helped poor people during this time, we have provided them with ration," said Father Joy Suprim D'Souza, Church of our Lady of Dolours
Meanwhile, The Bengal Imam Association has appealed to the public to continue the way they have been praying in their homes and inside mosques during the COVID-19 lockdown with a strength of not more than five people.
The Chairman of the Bengal Imams Association said that for more than two months people have been praying at home and they can continue in the same manner. There is no need to open mosques for the common people looking at the present situation of COVID-19, he added.
Some other places in the state temples had opened. Prayers were seen being offered at a temple in Siliguri.
Earlier on May 29, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that all religious places will open in the state on June 1 with not more than 10 people will be allowed inside the premises at a time.
The religious places had been shut for over two months due to lockdown guidelines issued to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. According to the state guidelines, gatherings will not be permitted and authorities must make arrangements to ensure availability of sanitizers and hand wash across these places.
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