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Srinagar: Shia community takes out Muharram processions on the traditional route after 34 years

The procession's approval is noteworthy because it was previously forbidden for more than three decades due to the links with separatists in the valley.

After more than three decades of being prohibited, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday decided to permit the 8th Muharram to proceed through the centre of Srinagar on Thursday, July 27. However, the administration designated a fixed time for the procession.

“The permission is hereby granted…for taking out Muharram procession on 8th Muharram-1445 from Guru Bazar to Dalgate via Budshah Kadal and M.A Road, Srinagar, from 6 am to 8 am on 27th July, 2023,” the order issued by Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Ajaz Asad read on Wednesday.

“The time window has been finalised in the larger public interest as the procession route encompasses massive business/commercial establishments, movement of ambulances, students, office staff, general passengers, etc,” the order added.

The procession’s approval is noteworthy because it was previously forbidden for more than three decades due to the links with separatists in the valley. The procession was banned at the start of separatist terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir in 1990.

The administration advised participants of the processions not to “engage in any anti-national/anti-establishment speeches/sloganeering or propaganda” in its directive on Wednesday. According to the directive, no behaviour that is “prejudicial to security and sovereignty of the State” should take place during the parade, and participants “should not disrespect any national symbol/emblem.”

“They (processions) shall not hoist any flag depicting provocative slogans/text and/or photos of terror outfits, logos of banned organisations at both national and international level. Activities of the participants attending the procession should remain strictly confined to the program only. They shall cooperate with local police and other security agencies as desired by them in the public interest,” the order read.

The 8th Muharram procession begins in the Shaheed Gunj area of the city, travels through Lalchowk in the city centre, and ends in the Dalgate neighbourhood of Srinagar. The 10th Muharram procession, meanwhile, travels through Shia-dominated areas of the city.

As per the reports, Ittihadul Muslimeen, a member of the separatist conglomerate Hurriyat Conference, traditionally organised the 8th Muharram processions, and some Sunnis also participated in them.

The decision on the procession was made after senior administration officials believed that letting the procession would send a “strong signal” about calm in the area. Meetings with Shia Muslim community representatives were then held, and ultimately the prohibition was lifted.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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