Srinagar: Former Member of JK’s Legislative Assembly Aga Ruhullah Mehdi on Sunday put up questions over the lifting of the ban over annual Muharram processions after a gap of almost thirty years in Kashmir.
There is list of decisions-taken in circulation, in which, if my reading of this order is correct, the administration has decided to allow the 10th Moharram procession from Abiguzar to Lal Chowk (a temporary & alternate route proposed in 2018) after a gap of 30 years. 1/7
— Ruhullah Mehdi (@RuhullahMehdi) August 1, 2021
Mehdi, in a series of tweets said: “There is list of decisions-taken in circulation, in which, if my reading of this order is correct, the administration has decided to allow the 10th Moharram procession from Abiguzar to Lal Chowk (a temporary & alternate route proposed in 2018) after a gap of 30 years.”
Mehdi wrote “This decision has come at the time when the Administration has called off Amarnath yatra. Eid prayers this year were not allowed at Jama Masjid & other important places imposing the Disaster Management Act.”
He said: “Only few days ago the IGP Kmr told people to celebrate Eid “at their homes” invoking Covid protocols. The Friday prayers at Jama Masjid have not been allowed for the last more than 100 Fridays & continue to be banned, again invoking Covid 19 protocols. The list goes on.”
“Given the fact that all other major religious gatherings(with no exception to any particular religion)continue to be banned. This sudden isolated decision about 10th Moharram procession from Abiguzar to Lal Chowk,after a gap of 30 years, raises more questions than it answers,” he wrote.
Mehdi further said: “To answer those questions and to make it clear that there are no nefarious designs behind this decision,this 10th Moharram procession should be preceded by Friday prayers at Jama Masjid before this 10th Moharram. Friday prayers before this year’s 10th Moharram should precede.”
“If the Friday prayers and other major religious functions (across all religions) continue to be banned and this particular procession suddenly encouraged in isolation. In that case, I see nefarious designs behind it. The people should not fall for this bait and into this trap,” Mehdi said.
“Therefore the responsibility lies with the administration to come clean. Now that the time for Eid prayer this years has passed. Lift the ban on Friday prayers at Jama Masjid too, like you suddenly took this decision and prove that there are no nefarious designs,” he added.
Earlier, the JK administration decided to allow the Muharram procession in the valley which was banned thirty years ago.
In a meeting under the chairmanship of Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir Pandurang K Pole (IAS), it was decided that Muharram-ul-Haram 1443 (Hijri), shall be celebrated as per the past practice; however, in view of the COVID, the guidelines shall be adhered in letter and spirit.
The administration said that all the necessary arrangements shall be put in place for the convenience of the people and the decision of the commemoration of Muharram shall be left up to the Shia Organisation for which all the Deputy Commissioners and Senior Superintendents of Police shall be in touch with them.
The Div Com reiterated that developmental works which are part of the current year’s developmental action plan shall be taken up for execution so that the facilities are made available to the Shia Community before the commencement of the Muharram.
The dates on which the procession will be held in various districts are 6th Muharram from Gulshan Bagh to Zadibal, on 7th Muharram Kathi Darwaza to Hassanabad, 8th Gurubazar to Dalgate, 9th Mandibal to Zadibal, 10th Abi Guzar to Lal chowk, 11th Rainawari to Hassanabad and Zadibal interiors, and on the 25th Muharram Mirgund to Budgam.
The DCs of the Kashmir division have been asked to formulate a plan so that arrangements for the commemoration of Muharram 2021 are organised in the right manner.