Ramadan 2014
Children sit next to food placed for Muslims before the Iftar (breaking of fast) meal, during the holy fasting month of Ramadan in India, at the Jama Masjid (Grand Mosque) in the old quarters of Delhi July 1, 2014.REUTERS

As Muslims in Saharanpur celebrate Eid-al-fitr days after violent communal clashes left three people dead, the main access route to the Idgah Mosque, where more than 12,000 worshippers gather every year for Eid prayers, would remain closed.

Eid celebrations are muted in the riot-hit city with police and administration officials enforcing strict vigil despite a partial lifting of the curfew. 

The festive mood has been replaced with one of tension and foreboding, and the authorities have decided not to lift the curfew on Ambala Road that leads to the Idgah. The Ambala road had witnessed a flare-up on Saturday, with rioters torching buildings and vehicles.

Many of Saharanpur's Muslims will not be able to offer prayers at the Idgah this time, and the government has said no to holding mass prayers here. 

However, Muslims are allowed to gather at their local mosques.

Curfew has also been relaxed for longer today, from 7 am to 11 am in the old city, which has a large Muslim population, and from 3 pm to 7 pm in new areas of the city, where many Sikh people live.

Political leaders have also advised local Muslims not to not visit the mosque in large numbers. "I have held a series of talks with my community members, and asked them to avoid going the Idgah mosque in large numbers and offer namaz in a mosque close their homes," Congress leader Imran Masood told The Times of India.

The local people are praying that the festival brings peace to the area.

"Eid is anyways marked by a call for peace and harmony... But this year we are especially praying that peace returns to Saharanpur," a member of the Eidgah Committee told NDTV.

The riots, which broke out between the Sikhs and Muslims over a disputed land, claimed the lives of three people and left 33 injured. The police arrested 38 people and filed nine FIRs following the communal clash.

However, the main person who had "instigated" the violence is yet to be detained, said Saharanpur Superintendent of Police Rajesh Pandey.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has assured a Shiromani Akali Dal delegation that his government would provide security and justice to the people in the state and compensate the victims of the communal clashes.

Eid Prayers Done Peacefully at Saharanpur Mosque Not Far From Site of Clashes

More than 50,000 Muslims offered prayers on the occasion of Eid-ul-fitr at the main idgah mosque on Tuesday in the midst of tight security, Hindustan Times reported.

The district authorities had decided not to allow Muslims to gather in large congregations at the mosque as curfew was still in place on Ambala Road that leads to the Idgah.

However, local Muslims wanted to pray at the mosque as thousands gather there every year on the occasion of Eid, HT reported.

"By allowing us to offer prayer at the Idgah, the administration has done the right thing. It will help the city to return to normalcy soon," Shahzad Hussain, a local, told HT.