HYDERABAD: The Hyderabad Police has booked 12 people who participated in the Muharram procession conducted on Sunday, August 29th, for violating Covid-19 precautionary norms.

The case was booked under Sections 341, 188, 269, 270 of the Indian Penal Code, along with Sections 51 (a) (b) of the National Disaster Management Act and Section (3) of the Epidemic Diseases Act on Sunday evening.

Twelve men were booked for violating lockdown rules and participating in the Muharram procession that travelled through the lanes of Old City on Sunday. Originating from Yakutpura’s Bibi ka Alam, the procession went on for 10 kilometres and ended at Chaderghat.

The police registered suo moto vases at the Mirchowk, Chaderghat, Rein Bazar, Dabeerpura, and Charminar stations.

Officials at the department said that the cases were registered because the procession was taken out despite a refusal from the Telangana High Court.

Cases were booked on the following old city residents:
1. Najaf Ali Shoukath
2. Mujtuba Ali
3. Raza Abedi
4. Parvez
5. Hyder Hussain
6. Mohammed Zaider Karablai
7. Shakeel
8. Abbas
9. Mahmood
10. Karrar
11. Asghar Ali
12. Tanveer Agha

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.

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.

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