Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Wednesday said that he has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting that the state be allowed to reopen religious places including temples, mosques and churches, from June 1, NDTV reported. The Bharatiya Janata Party leader’s request comes just a few days before the fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown, imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus, is set to end on May 31. The lockdown was first imposed on March 25.
“We have to get a lot of permissions before opening up, so let’s wait and see,” Yediyurappa told the news network. “If we get permission, places of worship can open by June 1,” he added.
There may be a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, where the reopening of religious places is likely to be discussed.
In its guidelines, the Centre had ordered that all religious places, places of worship will be closed for public until further notice. It also prohibited religious congregations and functions. Although several states issued relaxations in the fourth phase of the lockdown, religious places continue to remain shut countrywide.
On Tuesday, Minister for Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments (Muzrai), Kota Srinivas Poojary said that temples in the state will open for public from June 1, PTI reported. “We have had discussions with the chief minister regarding [the] Muzrai department during which it was decided to open temples from June 1,” he said.
In Karnataka, there are over 34,000 temples that come under the Muzrai department. Poojary said that the plan is to allow all “sevas” (rituals) in the temples once they open. However, he said they may limit it to a few. “We will decide on it,” Poojary added.
Karnataka has so far recorded 2,283 coronavirus cases and 44 deaths, according to figures from the Ministry of Health.