New Delhi: Millions of Muslims today flocked to mosques and idgahs across the country to offer special prayers on Eid-ul-Fitr as people drenched in festive spirit exchanged greetings with warm embraces and took part in feasts with family and friends.
In the national capital, people dressed in their festive best turned up at historic Jama Masjid, Fathepuri Masjid, Hazrat Nizamuddin and other mosques in the city for ‘namaz', wished each other “Eid Mubarak” and exchanged gifts on the festival marking the culmination of holy fasting month of Ramzan.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi greeted people on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr while Chief Ministers in several states joined the special prayers on the occasion.
“Greetings on Eid-ul-Fitr. May this auspicious day strengthen the bond of peace, unity & brotherhood across our Nation,” the Prime Minister said in his message.
In Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah joined nearly 60,000 devout to offer Eid prayers at the revered Hazratbal Shrine on the banks of Dal Lake which saw the biggest gathering in the state. A big gathering was also reported at Eidgah in the old Srinagar city where nearly 30,000 people offered prayers.
The festival was celebrated across Kashmir with traditional fervour and gaiety though there were a few stray protests over the situation in Gaza.
Extensive security arrangements were in place across the country, especially where large congregations took place. People visited relatives and enjoyed special dishes, particularly ‘sewayian' made of vermicelli and different varieties of biryani and kebabs. Elders gave ‘eidee' (token money) to children and gave out alms to the needy.
In Uttar Pradesh, Governor Ram Naik and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav visited Aishbagh Eidgah in Lucknow and greeted people on the occassion.
In violence-hit Saharanpur district, devouts offered Eid prayers as district authorities relaxed curfew while security forces kept a tight vigil.
In Gujarat, festivities were marred by a mishap when a compound wall of an Idgah collapsed on peple after they had offered prayers, leaving two persons, including an eight-year-boy, dead and more than 35 injured in Mehsana district.