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May 16, 2021

Travel restrictions dampen Eid festivities

May 16, 2021

Islamabad : The coronavirus pandemic-induced restrictions on recreation and travel dampened Eid festivities with the people mostly spending time indoors.

Compared with previous post-Ramazan festivals, the city wore a deserted look, especially in the daytime, as the government advocated Eid to be a low-key affair for coronavirus control and prevention and even announced the closure of shopping malls, amusement parks and other public places, suspension of public transport and ban on visit to tourist places.

The people, especially children and youth, found Eid days to be dull and boring. They kept themselves busy by watching TV and movies, surfing internet, and playing computer and mobile games, in the daytime and left homes in the evening for long drives.

Many families pulled over along greenbelts and in open places to refresh themselves, munch on snacks, take pictures, play around, and chat away about themselves and others.

Stuck at home, the people had family reunions and friend get-togethers, where meaty dishes, chitchat and music helped ease Eid dullness. They prayed that the life returns to normal next Eid to help them enjoy the festival to the full.

2,900 security personnel perform duties on Eid: The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Police finalized a comprehensive security and patrolling plan on the eve of Eidul Fitr besides augmenting the security at public places, worship places and other important buildings to thwart any untoward incident.

The security plan was finalised by Additional SP Farhat Abbass Kazmi following directions of IGP Islamabad Qazi Jamil ur Rehman and DIG (Operations) Afzaal Ahmed Kausar. More than 2,900 security personnel including four SPs, 12 ASPs/DSPs and volunteers performed security duties and SSP (Operations) Dr. Syed Mustafa Tanveer supervised all arrangements.

DIG (Operations) directed to ensure strict security measures outside all mosques, imambargahs, exit and entry points of the city. Islamabad police ensured fool proof security arrangements on the occasion and police commandos were deployed for patrolling in the city.

Police officials also assigned security duties in this connection at mosques and Imambargahs. The bomb disposal squad conducted checking of various areas and parking did not allow near worship places or congregation.

Policemen ensured implementation on SOPs issued by the government during ongoing COVID-19 phase while general hold up was also conducted in the city. SSP (Operations) appealed the citizens to avoid unnecessary movement and keep identification documents with them during travel. He asked to ensure cooperation with the policemen performing duties as they are performing for the safety of people. SSP (Operations) said that crackdown on beggars also remained continue and special squads were active to curb this menace.

Police teams were constituted for patrolling in various urban sectors and rural areas. SSP (Operations) said that protection to the lives and property of the citizens was ensured and strict action was taken against those involved in aerial firing or anti-social activities.

Meat prices hit the roof on Eid: The meat prices, especially the broiler chicken’s, skyrocketed here during Eid days to the misery of the common man.

As the three days post-Ramazan festival witnesses family reunions and get-togethers of friends, the sellers of chicken, beef and mutton record high sales.

This Eidul Fitr is no different.

However, buyers complain about inflated meat prices blaming them on bad governance, especially ineffective price control mechanism.

According to them, the broiler chicken’s meat was sold for around Rs450 per kg against the official rate of per kg, mutton around Rs1,400 per kg against Rs800 per kg and beef around Rs800 per kg against Rs400 per kg.

The people said they preferred beef to chicken. Some turned to frozen chicken, which was available at cheaper rate than fresh one.

Chicken sellers claimed that they sold less chicken than expected due to high rates.

They said shortages caused price hike and profiteering by poultry farmers and middlemen were to blame for it.

The chicken sellers said the prices were likely to decline on Monday when the new rates would be announced by the poultry association.

Some poultry dealers claimed that the outbreak of ranikhet, the virulent Newcastle disease, killed chicken on a large scale and thus, causing shortages and high rates.

Mutton and beef sellers, too, acknowledged the price hike was artificial. They said the rates would normalise after Eid celebrations were over.