NEW DELHI/LUCKNOW: The Shia Personal Law Board has requested the Prime Minister to intervene and allow the "Tazia" processions during Muharram with a lesser number of devotees.
Muharram is observed to remember the martyrdom of Imam Hussain in the battle of Karbala, revered especially by Shia Muslims.
General Secretary of the organisation, Yasoob Abbas, requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider the matter before August 30. He said that the numbers could be limited, but the processions should be allowed.
The conversation of Yasoob Abbas with the PMO officials has been posted on the official Facebook account of the Shia Personal law Board, which has been confirmed by the Board.
Speaking to IANS over the phone from Lucknow, Yasoob Abbas said, "I tried to contact the Prime Minister and got a call from his office. I have requested the Prime Minister to allow Tazia, with may be limited numbers on the 10th day of Muharram. I have also spoken to Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi twice, and now am waiting for the response."
Meanwhile, Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawwad has taken strong exception to the blanket ban on all Muharram rituals by the Lucknow Police Commissionerate.
Kalbe Jawwad, who is the 'mutawalli' (caretaker) of Imambara Ghufranmaab in the old city, has called the guidelines issued specifically for Muharram 'unconstitutional and illegal'.
The cleric has submitted a written statement to the police commissioner, saying that the order was not just misleading but was also creating unrest in the community.
"It is against the guidelines issued by the WHO, Central and state governments on COVID-19. This new guideline should be repealed immediately since COVID-19 protocols are already in place. At the 'majlis' from Friday, the number of people will be limited to 50 along with thermal scanning, sanitisation, social distancing and masks," Jawwad said.
This year Muharram, which started on Friday, is likely to be a low-key affair amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Processions with Tazias are unlikely and several innovative self-regulation strategies are being planned to limit the gathering of people inside the Imambaras to 50. (IANS)
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