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Bombay High Court Allows Muharram Procession With Strict Conditions

Sharmeen Hakim
17 Aug 2021 12:25 PM GMT
Bombay High Court Allows Muharram Procession With Strict Conditions
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The Bombay High Court on Tuesday allowed a Shia-Muslim Trust to perform Muharram rituals on August 20 - the tenth day of Muharram (Ashura) - by adhereing to stringent conditions. A division bench of Justices KK Tated and PK Chavan allowed a procession of 100 fully vaccinated persons to travel on seven trucks along with five taziyas (a replica of Imam Hussain's tomb). This will be...

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday allowed a Shia-Muslim Trust to perform Muharram rituals on August 20 - the tenth day of Muharram (Ashura) - by adhereing to stringent conditions.

A division bench of Justices KK Tated and PK Chavan allowed a procession of 100 fully vaccinated persons to travel on seven trucks along with five taziyas (a replica of Imam Hussain's tomb). This will be the only procession in the entire State.

Each truck will have only 15 people, whose names will be given in advance. Moreover, only 25 people will be allowed inside the cemetery.

The Taziyas, Alams will be taken from Zainabia Imambada in Bhendi Bazaar to the Shia Qabristaan in Mazgaon, two kilometres away.

"It's a religious function, you can hold it, but keep the prevailing situation in mind. That there should be no crowding," the court said.

The petition by All India Idaara-E-Tahafuz-E-Hussainiyat Trust was met with great resistance from the State Government. Shia Trust said the cooling down rituals of the mausoleum replica cannot be done at home.

Represented by senior advocate Rajendra Shirodkar and advocate Asif Naqvi, the petitioners said they were seeking permission to carry out the sacred ritual of cooling the Taziyah. He submitted that only 5 people were allowed last year; however, considering the relaxations this year, more people maybe permitted.

He pointed out how four buses were allowed in Pandharpur, and restaurants are also allowed to remain open.

State's counsel Purnima Kantharia said that it is difficult for the police to control crowds and she was sure several people would gather at the cemetery. "Religious processions have been prohibited, we told them, don't have anything by which our officers will get into difficulty. The relaxations have come slowly."

She argued that not more than 12-15 people should be allowed.

However, the bench pointed out that the state has allowed more people even in marriages.

When Kantharia said that roads would be blocked for a considerable amount of time, the bench reasoned, "These processions are usual. Where will the question of traffic arise? You can manage the traffic for some time."

When the petitioners said that they wanted permission to use a public announcement system to keep the public away from the procession, the State's counsel said she was sure it would be used for something else.

The Senior Counsel made a statement that the loudspeaker would only be used to keep people away.

Last year, the trust claimed that while up to 10 persons were allowed for Ganpati Visarjan, Shia Muslims were not allowed to perform the cooling down rituals of the mausoleum replica.

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