'No Muharram processions in view of COVID19'

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Anjuman-e-Shari Shian Sunday announced suspension of Muharram processions in view of COVID19 but said all rituals shall be performed in respective Imambaras.

Addressing mediapersons at Kashmir Press Club here, Aga Syed Mujtaba, son of Shari Shian president Aga Syed Hasan Almosvi Alsafvi said that the religious body has decided to suspend Muharram processions including Ashoora in wake of COVID19 pandemic.

“We have been following directives issued by authorities from time to time with regard to pandemic. With heavy heart, we announce suspension of Muharram processions this year,” he said.

He said that it is a ‘most difficult decision’ to announce but the risk of spread of pandemic cannot be overlooked.

Muharram is observed by Muslims to mourn the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) in the battle of Karbala in the seventh century. It marks the first and one of the sacred months of the Islamic calendar.

He said it is the need of the hour to follow Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in letter and spirit. “It is not desirable to violate any SOPs. If we do so, our problems will add and it will become more difficult to contain the spread of COVID19,” he said.

“During this Muharram, mourners observed all SOPs. Hussaini Majalis were held but sanitizers and masks were properly used in Imambaras. I know it is difficult for believers to restrain themselves from processions but we need to remain firm in defeating coronavirus,” Aga Syed Mujtaba said.

He added that believers should mourn inside their homes, in local Imambaras while adhering to SOPs.

“People in no area should congregate to mourn together, and the Majlis programme should be organized while adhering to norms,” he said.

He said there may be some miscreants who can mislead believers. “Let me tell the believers that we are facing a serious crisis and it will be (like) a murder if we force anyone to indulge in an act that is not desirable. We understand the pain and sentiments of the believers but it is the need of the hour to restrain ourselves and suspend Muharram processions,” he said.

In J&K, the religious places reopened on 16 August this year nearly five months after they were closed as a precautionary measure to contain COVID19.