Hyderabad: A decades-old tradition continued in the year of the COVID-19 pandemic as well, as the Muharram procession from Bibi Ka Alam in Dabeerpura travelled ten kilometres through the precincts of Old City on Sunday, August 30th.
However, this year it was conducted despite orders from the Telangana High Court.
Visuals from the old city started pouring in on Sunday morning where hundreds could be seen performing the ritualistic ceremonies of commemorating Imam Hussain, the nephew of Prophet Mohammed.
A heavy presence of state police can also be observed in the visuals. Our sources on the ground, however, said that citizens were not allowed to visit Bibi Ka Alam as it was barricaded.
A large number of people can be seen in the videos. The elephant which usually takes headway in the procession, this year, was replaced by a van in the absence of official permissions.
SHO Charminar Police, B Guru Naidu, confirmed that the police attempted to undertake every precautionary measure possible. However, he refused to comment any further.
On Tuesday, August 26th, the TS High Court dismissed a petition requesting permission to conduct the Muharram procession as per usual in Hyderabad.
The petition, which urged the court to give permission to carry out the procession along with an elephant as it is a customary ritual and informed that all precautionary measures would be followed in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, was dismissed by the court which cited the official Supreme Court order to conduct any religious gathering. Given the Supreme Court decision, it won’t be correct to issue directions on a similar petition, the High Court had told the petitioners.
Earlier, a list of certain precautionary measures was also released by the Telangana Waqf Board which included putting up sanitising gateways at Ashoorkhanas in the city.
Every year the procession begins at Bibi Ka Alam, Dabeerpura, goes to Charminar and ends at Chaderghat.