Faith

Peaceful Muharram procession lathicharged in Srinagar, woman Shia mourner shares in viral video

Representational Image.

Earlier, banners of Hezbollah and Iran were reportedly downed by the authorities in Zadibal

Srinagar: Scores of women Shia mourners, who had taken out a peaceful procession in Zadibal area of Srinagar on the third day of Muharram, on Sunday, were lathicharged by the personnel of Jammu and Kashmir police.

According to a video, viral on social media, a woman mourner in Zadibal is shouting at the police personnel for hitting her while she was participating in a peaceful Muharram procession.

The caption, of the video shared by photojournalist Masrat Zahra, read: “around 12 am, Police lathicharge on female Shiite mourners who took out a peaceful procession in Zadibal area of Srinagar on 3rd day of Muharram. One of the victims said, “we have our own religious belief and we aren’t followers of Aga Mujtaba so we deny his statement.”

In response to this, a Journalist based in Tehran, wrote on his twitter handle: “as long as mourners adhere to health advisories, I don’t think use of excessive force to disrupt a peace #Muharram procession is warranted, especially when you facilitate and patronize other religious/political shows where health norms are tossed to winds. #Kashmir.” (Sic).

Earlier reports said that flags of Lebanese political and paramilitary party, Hezbollah, and Iran, were downed by the authorities in Zadibal during the third day of Muharram procession.

Free Press Kashmir repeatedly approached the authorities for comment but found our journalistic queries unanswered.

This year, keeping in view the COVID outbreak, Anjuman Shari Shia of Kashmir have suspended Muharram processions including Ashoora in Kashmir.

This was revealed by Aga Syed Mujtaba, the son of Shari Shian President Aga Syed Hasan Almosvi Alsafvi during a press conference in Srinagar.

“We appeal to believers not to take out Muharram processions in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. It is a difficult and heart-breaking decision, but we have no option keeping the Covid-19 pandemic in view,” Aga Syed Mujtaba told reporters.

Muharram is observed by Muslims with abstinence and prayers 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 (SOP’s) in letter and spirit.

“It is not desirable to confront the administration that has already asked people to follow SOP’s. If we do so, our problems will add and it will become more difficult to contain the spread of Covid-19,” Aga Syed Mujtaba said.

“During this Muharram, mourners observed all SOP’s. Hussaini Majalis were held but sanitisers and masks were properly used in Imambaras. I know it is difficult for believers to restrain themselves, but to combat Covid-19, we need to stay away from processions,” Mujtaba said.

He also added that believers should mourn inside their homes, in the Imambaras while following SOP’s. “People living in one area also should not 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 believers, we are facing a serious crisis and it will be 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,” Mujtaba said.

 

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