A member of the Central Waqf Council has approached the Telangana High Court seeking permission for conducting the procession of the Bonalu festival amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Haneef Ali, Central Waqf Council member, said that he has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking directions to allow the religious procession with a limited number of devotees and Sevayats.
"Three days ago, I had filed a PIL at Telangana State High Court seeking permission for the performance of religious procession during Bonalu festival and permit Akkanna Madanna Temple committee to conduct Bonalu Jatra procession with limited devotees and Sevayats," Ali told .
He sought directions to hold the procession, which is scheduled to be held on July 20 in Hyderabad from Akkanna Madanna Temple to Nayapul, without the attendance of the general public.
Ali said that the festival holds even more significance amid the ongoing pandemic.
"When the festival was first celebrated, there was a plague. People were dying just like they are now due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The plague had ended after the celebration of this festival," he explained.
Seeking relief similar to that granted by the Supreme Court in Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra matter, Ali said that the festival can be celebrated with a limited number of people. He also urged the state and Central government to grant permission to hold the festival.
The month-long folk festival is celebrated in the twin cities region during the month of 'Ashada' when women make offerings in the form of food to Goddess Mahankali. The festival concludes with a procession from Akkanna Madanna temple.
( With inputs from ANI )