Despite COVID-19 restrictions, fishing festival held in Madurai, Sivaganga

Local residents turned up in huge numbers to catch fish at village tanks

Flouting COVID-19 norms, a large number of village residents from in and around Thiruvathavur near Madurai participated in the traditional fishing festival held late on Friday night.

According to the residents, the recent rains had enabled them in filling up water in the tanks and fishlings were let in a few months ago. Men, women and children, had fishing nets and some even used their sarees and dhotis for the catch, which included catla, carp and kendai fish varieties among others, they said.

In neighbouring Sivaganga district, at Keezhaseevalpatti village near Tirupathur, hundreds of village residents from Iraniyur, Kallapettai, Nallur and Pappathi Oorani among other hamlets assembled at the Pillamangalam big tank to catch fish on Friday night.

Though officials claimed to have banned these festivals in view of the prevailing pandemic, local residents turned up in huge numbers and stood at the tanks to catch fish for over three hours.

Though the Fisheries Department officials had, on Thursday, stated that fish markets would remain shut across the State on Saturday as per COVID-19 restrictions, many were engaged in selling the produce in villages today. In both Madurai and Sivaganga districts, many of the buyers and sellers were not wearing face masks. There was no physical distancing as well.

As information about the fishing festival spread, police officers in Madurai district said that they had dispersed the Thiruvathavur village residents.

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