J&K administration takes historic decision to allow Muharram procession

Both the Lieutenant Governor and the Chief Secretary closely monitored the situation and actively supported the administration’s decision to address the long-pending demand positively.

SRINAGAR | Updated: 26 July, 2023 9:48 pm IST

SRINAGAR: In a landmark move, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has made a historic decision to permit the 8th Muharram procession after a hiatus of three decades. The procession will follow its traditional route from Guru Bazar to Dalgate, addressing a long-standing demand of the Shia brethren.

The Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir, Vijay Kumar Bidhuri on Wednesday announced the decision today, taking into consideration the religious sentiments of the Shia community.

“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.

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The process of granting permission for the 8th Muharram procession involved several rounds of constructive dialogue between the administration and representatives from all Shia Muslim groups. The local committee of Gurubazar was also actively engaged in the discussions. The objective was to ensure a peaceful and orderly conduct of the sacred religious event, and the administration received assurances from all stakeholders in this regard.

In terms of security, the J&K administration has vowed to implement stringent arrangements to maintain law and order during the procession. The procession from Gurubazar has been granted explicit permission, with strict orders that no other processions will be allowed on the designated route. Anyone found in violation of this order will face strict legal consequences.

Considering the convenience of the general public, the timing for the procession has been scheduled from 6 am to 8 am in the morning, given that it is a working day. This decision was taken to minimize inconvenience to the citizens and ensure a smooth flow of the event.

Both the Lieutenant Governor and the Chief Secretary closely monitored the situation and actively supported the administration’s decision to address the long-pending demand positively.

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To facilitate the mourners, the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) will conduct a thorough cleanliness drive along the procession route. Additionally, arrangements for drinking water facilities and the availability of two ambulances have been made to address any medical emergencies that may arise during the event. Buses will also be provided at Dalgate to ensure smooth transportation for the participants.

The Divisional Commissioner, Vijay Kumar Bidhuri, expressed hope that the 8th Muharram procession would be conducted peacefully. He emphasized that the success of this decision would pave the way for more inclusive decisions in the future, while also warning against any attempts to disrupt the harmony and solemnity of the event.

In response to the administration’s decision, Molvi Imran Reza Ansari, President of the All Jammu & Kashmir Shia Association, urged all devotees of Imam Hussain (as) to participate in the historical juloos in a peaceful manner.

“The Government of Jammu and Kashmir has permitted the Muharram 8 procession after 3 decades. I urge all the Azadars of Imam Hussain (as) to participate in this historical juloos in a peaceful manner, becoming the messengers of Hussain (as) to the whole world. Let our devotion resonate with love and compassion, as we carry the timeless message of Imam Hussain’s sacrifice,” Malvi Imran Resa Ansar, Secretary General JKY President AKSA said in a statement.

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