HYDERABAD: Violating High Court orders and brushing off the prevalent threat of Covid-19, thousands of Shia Muslims hit the streets to observe the 10th day of Muharram by flagellating themselves, in honour of Imam Hussain, who was martyred in the battle of Karbala.
On Saturday, the City Police Commissioner had granted permission for the alam to be taken out on a van, instead of an elephant, for the first time in Hyderabad’s history. He had appealed to the community to cooperate with the police and not gather on the route, as the procession was disallowed in view of the pandemic.
However, on Sunday, as the alam from Bibi ka Alawa in Dabeerpura began its journey on the van guarded by police personnel, thousands gathered on either side of it and tagged along as it passed through Charminar, Gulzar Houz, Purani Haveli, Darulshifa and Chaderghat.
Earlier, the High Court, while denying permission for the procession, had said that if its order was violated, the Commissioner of Police would be authorised to take action. The procession has also sparked a debate on social media, with the State government being criticised by many who pointed out that it had earlier denied permission to take out Ganesh procession in the city.