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Home > News > Report

Ajmer dargah blast subdues Eid celebrations

Vicky Nanjappa in Ajmer | October 14, 2007 16:26 IST

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Coverage: Terror hits Ajmer dargah

The spirit was there, but the fear was evident too. Although people were determined to show that they were undeterred by the act of terror at the Ajmer dargah, they decided to make Eid celebrations a low key affair this time as a mark of respect to those who lost their lives in the blast, which rocked Ajmer on Thursday last.

Additional Director General of Police A K Jain said security has been tightened in view of the celebrations and there is a constant vigil in and around Ajmer.

For 70-year-old Ahmed Sharrief, a resident of Pune, the Eid at Ajmer is very different this year around. "I have been visiting this shrine every year since the past 25 years. The festivity, the happy faces are all missing this year. Eid, a festival of joy has been reduced to sorrow, thanks to the madness of some extremists," he says.

Take the case of Rizwan, a sweet vendor outside the Dargah.

"I was hoping to make some good business during Eid. But these attacks have dampened all my hopes he says. I cannot blame the people for not celebrating the festival extensively. It is unfair for us to celebrate when there are so families who are grieving due to these blasts," he says.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Dargah Committee, Ahmed Raza says that the mood among the people is very different this year.

"Although we must not take a back seat, we decided that the festivities will be low key as a mark of respect to those families who have lost their near and dear. However this should not be seen as an act of fear," he says.

Sadly, a 796-year practice at the Dargah was broken for the first time thanks to this mad act of terror, which rocked Ajmer on Thursday. Every year a day before Eid, drums are played when the moon is first spotted. However, this tradition was broken and the instruments were not played as a mark of respect.

Rizwan the sweet vendor told that this silence was very saddening. This unique tradition of beating drums was so much a part of the Dargah culture and when it is broken it is heart breaking. I only hope that this sadness will pass and the next year, everything will be normal, he says.