Monday September 25, 2023

Ban on Youm-e-Ali procession rejected

Various Shia organisations have rejected the government ban on the procession of Hazrat Ali martyrdom day on Ramazan 21

May 03, 2021

LAHORE: Various Shia organisations have rejected the government ban on the procession of Hazrat Ali martyrdom day on Ramazan 21 (May 4].

According to sources, these organisations have expressed their determination to take out the procession from the Mubarak Haveli, inside Mochi Gate, on Tuesday morning, in defiance of the ban imposed on any such processions. The ban was imposed by the National Command Operation Centre (NCOC) meeting recently as per the restrictions under the coronavirus standard operating procedures (SOPs).

The expected talks between the Shia organisations and the district administration could not take place on Sunday. However, during the initial contacts with the administration, the Shia leaders had conveyed that they would take out the Youm-e-Ali mourning processions at all costs, as per schedule on Tuesday, and would not accept any kind of ban on the processions. Negotiations between the Shia organisations and the district administration are expected on Monday (today).

The Shia leaders mentioned that Youm-e-Ali processions had not been banned in the Sindh province and other parts of the country. A leader of Shia Ulema Council (SUC) Lahore, Allama Sibtain Haider Sabzwari, told the media that Shias had proved itself to be a responsible community and it had always observed the corona SOPs. He noted that banning only Shia processions was unjustified as all markets were opened, the National Assembly by-polls had been held in Karachi the other day and another by-polls for a Punjab Assembly seat was scheduled for the next week in Khushab. He recalled that last year, the government tried in vain to prevent the Youm-e-Ali processions, and failed to stop them despite using police force and barricades.

He said that last year’s government decision to ban the procession resulted only in the loss of public property and injuries to mourners and police personnel. He urged all custodians of Imambargahs and licence-holders of processions to make full preparations for the processions.

Meanwhile, Abdul Khaliq Asadi, Punjab general secretary of Majlis Wahdatul Muslemin (MWM), said that the Shia leadership was committed to taking out the procession at all costs. He said President Dr Arif Alvi telephoned Secretary General of the Majlis Allama Raja Nasir Abbas Jaffrey to tell him that there was no restriction on holding of Majalis and proceedings on Youm-e-Ali with the observance of the corona SOPs.

The MWM media cell, through a statement, said that Allama Nasir Abbas urged President Dr Arif Alvi to ensure foolproof security of the mourning processions and gatherings.

Asadi said President Alvi was assured of complete observance of the corona SOPs during majalis and the procession. The MWM leadership said the government had allowed the markets to open and Taraveeh prayers to be held inside the mosques. But if it imposed any restrictions on the Youm-e-Ali processions, it would be considered as a prejudiced decision against Shias.

The traditional route of Youm-e-Ali procession, which is taken out after Sehri on 21st of Ramazan, included Imambargah Ghulam Ali Shah, Chowk Nawab Sahab, Mochi Gate, Lal Khoo, Fazal Haveli, Takia Nathay Shah, Koocha Shian, Chuhatta Mufti Baqar, Old Kotwali, Kashmiri Bazaar, Dabbi Bazaar, Sunehri Masjid, Paniwala Talab, Chowk Nogaza, Chowk Tarannum Cinema, Chowk Tibbi, Bazaar Hakeeman, Chowk Novelty, Mohalla Jogian, Oonchi Masjid and Bhaati Gate. It culminates at Karbala Gamay Shah.