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Mumbai, March 24 (IANS) The Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) has in a memorandum to the government demanded March 29 and March 31 as restricted holidays to enable Christian officials observe Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
"We urge the government to consider a restricted holiday at least on March 29 and March 31 for the benefit of the Christians, and if need be the last date for filing financial returns can be extended by a day," CSF said in the memorandum to the prime minister and the finance minister.
CSF has objected to the diktat issued by certain central government departments to keep their offices open March 29 this year, which happens to be Good Friday.
This means that Christian employees in departments like income tax, customs and central excise would be compelled to work on Good Friday and also during the Holy Week ending March 31, CSF general secretary Joseph Dias said here Sunday.
He added that the Central Board of Direct Taxes has issued a circular asking all employees to work on March 31, the Easter Sunday, when Christendom has its biggest feast.
"It means that Christian employees will work on the day of Christ's crucifiction, the Holy Saturday of prayer and the Easter Sunday to enable people file their tax returns for the financial year," Dias said.
The official diktat would prevent the Christian employees from fulfilling their religious Lenten observances which culminate after over 40 days of prayers, fasting and abstinence, he added.