JKIM terms ban on Muharram processions unjustified

Representatives of JK Ittihadul Muslimeen at a press conference at Jammu on Thursday.
Representatives of JK Ittihadul Muslimeen at a press conference at Jammu on Thursday.

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Sept 3: The Jammu and Kashmir Ittihadul Muslimeen (JKIM) has termed the Government’s ban on Eighth and the Tenth Muharram processions unjustified and tantamount to depriving the community of its religious freedom.
Talking to reporters here, today the representatives of the organization said that no power can ban mourning processions and whatever precautionary measures may be taken regardless of the circumstances, these processions will continue to be held. The use of force against mourners, dictatorial tactics such as pellet guns and baton charges are reprehensible and unacceptable in all respects which should be investigated and the mourners who have been detained or prosecuted without cause should be released immediately, they added.
Ittihadul Muslimeen has also made it clear that these peaceful processions could have been carried out by following everything laid down by various Mujtahids and medical experts and taking care of SOPs in connection with the mourning processions and gatherings. The statements and announcements to stop the processions are incomprehensible and had no religious or moral justification, they added.
They accused the administration of making an excuse to stop the processions and justifying the use of force and violence against mourners. Ittihadul Muslimeen appealed to the community to maintain unity in their constituencies and beware of evil elements and tactics being used against mourning. Expressing devotion and love to Imam Hussain is part of faith and efforts to reduce this sentiment and limit mourning will be countered in any case, they said. They also appealed to the people to keep in view the orders of the Mujtahids and the authorities during the upcoming mourning ceremonies. At the same time they strongly urged the Government to ensure better treatment for pellet victims and also appealed people to ensure all possible help and cooperation to these affected people.
They also accused the Government of not consulting the representatives of the community this year as has been a past practice for observance of Muharram taking out of processions and said that the decision to ban the processions was taken by the Government unilaterally without consultation of the community.
Taking strong exception of the statements of some religious organisation that the Muharram processions will not be taken this year in view of COVID Pandemic, they said these parties on the one hand tried to misrepresent the feelings and love of Muslims toward Imam Hussain and on the other hand they supported the policies of the Government under which they used their statements as an excuse to stop the mourning processions and gatherings.