SRINAGAR (India) -- Muslims in India celebrated Eid al-Fitr Tuesday with prayers outside mosques. This was despite recent attacks on the community during Ramadan.
Mohammad Habeeb ur Rehman (a civil engineer from Mumbai), said that "we won't have the same type of festivity" this year. He said, "This is the most difficult Eid with worst memories to Indian Muslims."
Anti-Muslim sentiments and attacks have risen across the country over the past month. Stone throwing between Hindu and Muslim religious groups has been a common occurrence. Authorities also demolished a number property that belonged to Muslims.
This community is 14% of India's total population. It is currently suffering from the vilification of hard-line Hindu nationalists, who have long advocated an anti-Muslim stance. While some leaders of India's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, have supported violence tacitly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sofar remained silent.
Eid al-Fitr celebrations are usually marked by communal prayers and celebratory gatherings around festive foods and new clothes. However, Indian celebrations of the occasion in recent years have been hampered by COVID-19 restrictions.
The Muslim festival in Kashmir under Indian control has been under siege for three years due to a military lockdown that India implemented after it took the region's semiautonomy. This was followed by the pandemic. Ramadan saw an increase in violence, with at most 20 militants, two civilians, and five police officers and soldiers being killed.
Bashir Ahmed, a Srinagar businessman, said, "As Eid approaches, a strong feeling of collective loss jars with us."
Kashmir, a disputed area with Muslim-majority populations, is where an insurgency has been raging against Indian rule for more than three decades. The conflict has claimed the lives of tens of thousands.
Hundreds gathered in New Delhi's capital to offer Eid prayers for the first time since the pandemic restrictions. On Tuesday morning, families gathered together and shared hugs and good wishes.
Mohammed Hamid, a software engineer said that he was thankful to have been able to offer prayers again at the mosque.
"It's a great feeling, because there was a lockdown the past two years. We are grateful for the grace of God that we can offer Eid prayers together with the children, and Hamid expressed his gratitude.
People from neighboring Bangladesh were happy as they traveled thousands of miles to celebrate Eid. Huge crowds were seen at Dhaka's Kamalapur Railway Station, and bus terminals.
As in India, Eid celebrations have been curtailed in Bangladesh over the past two years due to the pandemic. However, this year the government is not imposing restrictions but instead advises people to adhere to basic health protocols.
Khaleda Akter is a Dhaka garment worker who said that she was going to be travelling to her village to celebrate the occasion with her family.
She said, "I am very happy that this year we are able to travel without any difficulties."