Sudhakaran says the move is prejudicial to Christians who have observed midnight mass for centuries
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president K. Sudhakaran said the State government has effectively denied churchgoers their right to attend the traditional New Year’s eve mass by including religious places of worship in its blanket ban on gatherings from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Mr. Sudhakaran said the move was prejudicial to Christians who have observed midnight mass for centuries. It particularly jarred on the public that the government had exempted two pilgrimage centres from the ban. However, no such relief applied to churchgoers.
The State government had exempted Sivagiri and Sabarimala from the night curfew.
Mr. Sudhakaran demanded the government to accord the same relaxation to churchgoers. It should abandon its obstinacy. Midnight mass often commenced after 10 p.m. when the curfew kicked in. Traditionally, Christians partook in the New Year eve service with family and friends. The government should not deny them their inalienable right to participate in the prayers, he added.
The government had promulgated the embargo from December 30 to January 2 to prevent a possible surge in Omicron variant-driven COVID-19 cases.
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