- Tens of hundreds were seen at Hyderabad's Charminar despite restrictions
- Telangana is under a 10-day lockdown from Wednesday
- Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi has urged people to pray at home this Eid
A huge crowd at Hyderabad's Charminar today for Eid shopping challenged restrictions including a lockdown to contain the Covid spread in Telangana, which has close to 60,000 active coronavirus cases.
Telangana is under a 10-day lockdown from Wednesday, with a four-hour break between 6 and 10 in the morning to allow people to buy essentials.
At Charminar in the old quarters of Hyderabad this morning, tens of thousands were seen milling at the Madina market, shopping for the Eid festival on Friday. Not every face was masked.
Since cars are banned as part of the restrictions, a traffic jam built up in several parts of the old city.
Anticipating festival crowds, Telangana Home Minister Mohammad Mahmood Ali has said no more than four people can offer prayers at any mosque during Ramzan, Eid-ul-fitr namaaz or Friday prayers.
No public gatherings would be allowed in open places and people must offer prayers inside their homes, the minister said, adding that this time the severity of the virus was far worse and "we cannot allow the infection to spread".
Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi is among those who have urged people to pray at home this Eid, given the raging virus.
Hyderabad has seen a marginal dip in Covid numbers over the last week but mass gatherings like the one near Charminar is a big source of worry.
Nearly 29,000 Covid patients are in hospitals across Telangana.