J&K administration to allow the Muharram procession in the valley after 30 years, Shia leaders question move

By Ubair Ul Hameed

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has decided to allow the Muharram procession in the valley which was banned thirty years ago. The administration said that the Muharram-ul-Haram 1443 (Hijri), shall be celebrated as per the past practice.

Reacting to the move, a top Shia leader Agha Syed Hadi asked the admin if there is any “big plan” behind the decision. “While the ban on other religious ceremonies is still in place, why this generosity towards Muharram? Isn’t there a big plan behind it? However, if one considers it sympathetic to a particular religion, it is less than regrettable,” he said in a tweet.

Agha Syed Abid Hussain Hussaini called it a conspiracy to divide the Shia’s and Sunnis of the valley.

“Unity lies in the fact that despite all the restrictions in thirty years, the mourning processions were carried out through Shia-Sunni coordination. Even today, we need Shia-Sunni unity and community more than anything else, which will thwart the conspiracies of the enemies of Islam,” Syed Abid said in a tweet.

Likewise, former minister Ruhullah Mehdi asked the Jammu and Kashmir administration to lift the ban on Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid before lifting ban on Muharram processions in the valley.

“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 in a tweet.

Muharram processions in Kashmir were banned in at the inception of armed insurgency in erstwhile state. Every other year, scores of Muharram mourners are injured in forces action after they try to take out the processions.

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