Government of Jammu and Kashmir

SRINAGAR — The J&K administration on Wednesday addressed the long-pending demand of Shias by allowing the 8th Muharram procession on the traditional route from Guru Bazar to Dalgate after over three decades.

“While taking the religious sentiments of Shia brethren into consideration, the administration decided to allow the procession tomorrow,” Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Vijay Kumar Bidhuri said in a statement to the news agency GNS.

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

The administration after several rounds of talks with Shia Muslim community representatives of all groups and the local committee of Guru Bazar has got assurances from all stakeholders that the sacred religious event would be conducted and culminated peacefully.

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

However, he said that the timing for the procession shall be from 6 am to 8 am in the morning, considering the working day tomorrow and to avoid hardship to general people. He informed that both Lt. Governor and Chief Secretary have been directed for considering the demand positively and closely monitoring the situation.

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Regarding civil arrangements for the mourners, he said that SMC will conduct a cleanliness drive, and drinking water facility and the availability of two ambulances will be also ensured and buses will be made available at Dalgate.

Div Com said, “I hope it would 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.”

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