JAMMU, Oct 25: Dussehra festival, which marks victory of good over the evil, remained a low key affair due to COVID-19 threat, across the region as it was celebrated at very few places this time while at historic Parade Ground Jammu, it was cancelled due to restriction by the Administration.
Unlike every year on this day, Parade Ground witnessed a deserted look on the occasion of Dussehra this evening. There were no effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkarna and Meghnad this time. The District Administration had already declared that due to COVID pandemic and threat to the lives of people, there will be no Dussehra celebrations this time at Parade Ground or Gandhinagar Ram Lila Ground. Even there were restrictions on the conduct Ram Lila this time.
Several people expressed their displeasure and maintained that at least festival should have been allowed at low key at Parade Ground and Ram Lila Ground Gandhinagar with adherence to COVID SOPs. They said even the main entrance gates of the Parade Ground were found locked today.
But despite restrictions in Jammu, Dussehra festival was celebrated at low key affair at several places like Kathua, Reasi, Bhaderwah and a few other small rural towns.
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Amidst Coronavirus threat, the celebration of Dussehra festival was held in very simple way and at low key, at Bhaderwah town this evening.
Like other parts of the country, Dussehra festival-which marks the victory of good over evil, was celebrated with enthusiasm, gaiety and religious fervour by a sizable crowed of both communities (Hindus and Muslims) of Bhaderwah where effigies of Ravana, Kumbkarana and Meghnad were consigned to flames.
On the occasion, a victory march (Shobha Yatra) was taken out in the main Bazaars with tableau of Lord Rama in special chariot, depicting the scenes and characters from Ramayana, while a traditional ‘Rath Pooja’ was also performed to mark the return of Lord Rama after killing the demon king. Thereafter, the tall effigies of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhkarana were set on fire, amidst bursting of loud fire crackers. Elaborate security arrangements were made by the local administration for ensure smooth conduct of festival.
Reports from Kathua said that Dussehra festival was organized in simple way by Ram Lila Club where only the effigy of demon King -Ravana was burnt at Ram Lila ground this time. The gathering was also thin this time. A ‘Shobha Yatra’ with limited number of people was allowed up to the venue of Dussehra ground.
Following all the COVID guidelines, the Club members in presence of Tehsildar/ Ist Class Magistrate burnt the effigy of Ravana to mark Dussehra festival. No fair was allow at the venue this time and local public gathering was also restricted due to COVID threat, Tehsildar Kathua Gourab Sharma said.
Reports from Reasi said that local Durga Natak Mandli organized Dussehra at low key this time and burnt the effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkarana and Megnad. A ‘Jhanki’ of Lord Rama, Laxman and other characters of Holy Ramayana, was taken out in the town and later, the effigies were set on fire. Some officials from local administration were also present on the occasion.
Reports of such low key celebrations of Dussehra were also received from other small rural towns across Jammu region.