1ST TIME IN 3 DECADES | Authorities to allow 8th Muharram procession through traditional routes

Div Com congratulates Shia community, general public, ‘long pending demand addressed’
Police and Paramilitary maintain restrictions near Old Secretariat road on 8th Muharram. The religious procession, owing to security and sectarian threats  along the route was denied for over three-decades in Kashmir.  
 [Representational picture]
Police and Paramilitary maintain restrictions near Old Secretariat road on 8th Muharram. The religious procession, owing to security and sectarian threats along the route was denied for over three-decades in Kashmir. [Representational picture]File: Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: After over three decades, authorities decided to allow the 8th Muharram procession on Thursday through traditional routes between 6 am to 8 am from Guru Bazar to Dalgate.

“Taking religious sentiments of Shia brethren into consideration, the administration decided to allow the procession on Thursday,” Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Vijay Kumar Bidhuri said.

“I congratulate the Shia brethren and the people of Kashmiri who are known for their affection,” he said. “It is due to their contribution to the present peaceful environment which made it convenient for the administration to take this historic decision.”

An official statement issued here said that the administration after several rounds of talks with the Shia community and representatives of all groups and local committee of Guru Bazaar has got assurances from all the stakeholders that the sacred religious event would be conducted and culminated peacefully.

“Accordingly, all security arrangements would be put in place and people, especially members of the Shia community are informed that no one would be allowed to take out any other procession individually or collectively on the route except the one to be taken out from Guru Bazaar which has the permission from the administration. Any one violating the orders will be very strictly dealt with as per the law,” the statement said.

The divisional commissioner said that the timing for the procession would be from 6 am to 8 am, considering the working day on Thursday and to avoid hardship to the people.

He said that both the Lieutenant Governor and the Chief Secretary had directed for considering the demand positively and closely monitoring the situation.

Regarding civil arrangements for the mourners, the divisional commissioner said that the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) would conduct cleanliness drive while drinking water facility and availability of two ambulances would be also ensured besides buses would be made available at Dalgate.

“I hope it will be a clean and peaceful procession.  The success of this decision will be a precursor for more decisions in future, and strict action will be taken against any mischief by anyone,” the divisional commissioner said.

Meanwhile, the District Magistrate Srinagar also issued an order setting riders for the peaceful processions.

“Whereas Senior Superintendent of Police, Srinagar vide No CS/45-23(Muh)/33730-34 dated July 26, 2023, has conveyed no objection in favour of the Yaadgar-i-Hussaini Committee for taking out Muharram procession on 8th Muharram, 1445 AH, from Guru Bazaar to Dalgate via Budshah Kadal and M A Road, Srinagar subject to the conditions that they should not indulge in any anti-national, anti establishment speeches, sloganeering or propaganda and no activity should in any way affect the communal and sectarian harmony, and religious, ethnic, cultural and regional sentiments of the people,” the order states. “No activity during the procession should be prejudicial to the security and sovereignty of the state and should not disrespect any national symbol or emblem. They should not hoist any flag depicting provocative slogans, text and or photos of terror outfits, logos of banned organisations both national and international. The organisers should abide by all the rules and regulations and shall not indulge in any activity, which may lead to law and order problems in the area. They should not cause any defacement or damage to the government or public property. The activities of the participants attending the procession should remain strictly confined to the programme only.”

The DM’s order states that the mourners should cooperate with local Police and other security agencies as desired by them in the public interest.

 “They should not cause any obstruction in smooth flow of traffic on roads or routes falling in close vicinity of the area. They should not use drones during the procession without proper permission. Keeping in view these, the permission is hereby granted in favour of Yaadgar-i-Hussaini Committee, Kaloo Manzil Mohalla Guru Bazaar for taking out on 8th Muharram, 1445 AH from Guru Bazar to Dalgate via Budshah Kadal and M A Road, Srinagar from 6 am to 8 am, July 27, 2023. The time window has been finalised in the larger public interest as the procession route encompasses massive business and commercial establishments, movement of ambulances, students, office staff, and general passengers,” the order states.

On Monday, the Shia leaders had met LG Manoj Sinha and sought lifting of ban on Muharram processions through traditional routes like Abi Guzar to Dalgate and then to Zadibal for culmination.

The two major processions on the 8th and 10th days of Muharram were banned in late 1980s by the erstwhile administration, citing instigation of people.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Greater Kashmir