Most mosques violating coronavirus precautions during Taraweeh: report

Published May 5, 2020
Govt guidelines flouted, security measures overlooked. — AFP/File
Govt guidelines flouted, security measures overlooked. — AFP/File

RAWALPINDI: Following implementation of 20-point guidelines regarding safety measures against the spread of Covid-19, a report on 250 sensitive mosques and imambargahs in the Rawalpindi division has found flaws in majority of the worship places, including security deficiencies.

The government had allowed congregational prayers in mosques during Ramazan under the guidelines which had to be followed in the mosques as a part of precautionary measures against the coronavirus. But an audit team found many rules, including security measures, being violated during Taraweeh at many places.

On the other hand, the Rawalpindi district police served 460 notices on the administrations of the mosques for violating the 20-point guidelines.

A spokesman for Regional Police Officer (RPO) Sohail Habib Tajik told Dawn that rules of social distancing and use of sanitisers and wearing face masks were being observed but sometimes complaints regarding violating the guidelines were received from rural areas.

Mostly, the complaints were regarding presence of people aged over 50 years and children in the mosques.

In Rawalpindi division, 250 mosques/imambargahs had been declared sensitive and categorised as A, B and C due to their vulnerability to the spread of the coronavirus. Of these, 61 are located in Rawalpindi district, 18 in Attock, 42 in Jhelum and 129 in Chakwal.

It was observed that carpets or mates were found laid in six mosques while clean floor for prayers was not ensured.

The most serious violation of rules was observed in 52 mosques where people over 50 years of age and children were present during Taraweeh prayers. Of the 52 mosques, 26 were located in Rawalpindi where the SOP regarding presence of people over 50 years of age and children were ignored.

Taraweeh were offered in 17 mosques, including 14 in Rawalpindi district, which did not have a veranda/lawn or adequate space between the main entrance gate/door and the prayer hall. In 14 mosques/imambargahs, including four located in Rawalpindi district, the lighting arrangements were found unsatisfactory.

Performance of security guards

In 79 mosques/imambargahs, including 54 in Rawalpindi district, private security guards were neither deployed nor performing duties in a satisfactory manner.

In addition, in 34 mosques, 20 located in the Rawalpindi district, police guards were either not present or found not alert at the time of checking. Body search was not carried out in 52 mosques/imambargahs, including 28 in the Rawalpindi district.

Checking through metal detectors was not carried out in 43 mosques/imambargahs and 28 of these were located in the Rawalpindi district.

Published in Dawn, May 5th, 2020

Opinion

Editorial

Crime against humanity
Updated 03 Dec 2021

Crime against humanity

The government has yet to fulfil its long-standing pledge to criminalise enforced disappearances.
03 Dec 2021

Revised valuations

THE revised property valuations notified by the FBR for 40 cities for the purpose of collecting federal taxes —...
03 Dec 2021

PWD await rights

ON the International Day of Disabled Persons, it is important to take stock of how far Pakistan has come in ensuring...
02 Dec 2021

Funding for polls

THE PTI government’s autocratic mentality is again on full display, even as it feigns adherence to the law....
02 Dec 2021

Soaring prices

PRICES are surging. And they are increasing at a much faster pace than anticipated, burdening millions of...
Ali Wazir’s bail
Updated 02 Dec 2021

Ali Wazir’s bail

IT has been a long time coming, but MNA and Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement leader Ali Wazir has finally been granted bail...