SRINAGAR — For the first time after three decades, thousands of Shia mourners hit the traditional routes of Srinagar to take out 8th Muharram procession.
Amid praises for Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), thumping their chests and recitation of praises for Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS), the historic procession started from Guru Bazar area of the city that passed through Budshah Chowk to M. A. Road and then Dalgate, peacefully.
It was after more than three decades that the LG Manoj Sinha-led administration decided to allow the Shia mourners to take out 8th Muharram procession through traditional routes. The administration had fixed 6 am to 8 am as the time for the mourners to pass through the traditional routes. Shia leaders and clerics have welcomed the move and hailed the administration for this historic decision.
As per the news agency KNO, thousands of mourners from different parts of Kashmir while walking peacefully through the streets of Srinagar were seen beating chests, holding tall flags (Alams) of Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS) and chanting praises and Nouhas in favour of grandson of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
“We are grateful to the LG administration for allowing us to take out a procession after such a long gap. This is indeed a pleasure and a great moment for us,” said a mourner, Altaf Hussain. He said Muharram gives a reminder to every Muslim to follow the footsteps of Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS) and to follow in his footsteps.
Itehadul Muslimeen leader Masroor Abbas Ansari said that the UT government’s decision to allow the 8th Muharram procession is a historic decision. “The mourners followed proper discipline and the procession passed off in a very peaceful manner. Earlier, mourners were cane charged and even put behind bars as well. Peaceful conduct of today’s procession indicates that disallowing the same procession in the past many years was based on lame excuses,” he said.
Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) said a security review meeting was held in Srinagar yesterday in which it was decided to allow the 8th Muharram procession through traditional routes. “Officers and men were deployed on roads at 2 am to ensure peaceful conduct of the procession. And so far, the procession is going on peacefully,” he said. “We had put a three-tier security system in place.”
Present on the occasion, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Muhammad Aijaz Asad said that it was after over three decades that the Muharram procession was allowed. “I would say this is one of the peace dividends,” he said, adding that mourners have cooperated and so has the administration.
SMC Mayor Junaid Azim Matoo said that it’s a display of faith after a long time on the streets of Srinagar and he thanked the LG administration for the historic decision. “Mourners are walking peacefully and I hope restrictions will be lifted on Muharram 10th, also known as Ashura,” he said.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Vijay Kumar Bhiduri said he was happy to see the great enthusiasm among the mourners. “Everything happened peacefully. Mourners cooperated with us on all fronts and reciprocated the same. As far as the arrangements, we did whatever was possible within the shortest possible time,” he said.