August 2, 2021 4:57:39 am
The leaders of the Shia community in Lucknow on Sunday objected to the Uttar Pradesh Police’s guidelines to its senior officers about the religious month of Moharram, and demanded the withdrawal of the order for making it seem that “violence is part of the festival”.
The UP Police on Sunday said no processions would be allowed in the state during Moharram.
Shia leaders Kalbe Jawad, Kalbe Sibtain Noori are among those who objected to the order, dated July 31, addressed to police commissioners, Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs) and SPs. Noori said the whole document portrayed the community as “the oppressor”, and should be withdrawn. Additional Director General (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar claimed it was a routine departmental order, and added that “it is the same for other festivals too”.
Noori, who is the son of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) vice-president Kalbe Sadiq who died last November, said, “The second point in the guidelines say that the community flies kites and we write objectionable remarks on kites and on animals. Nothing of this sort happens. The whole draft should change, and till then we will boycott all meetings. In the guidelines, it is made to look like violence is part of the festival and that we are the oppressors.”
In a statement, Kalbe Jawad said the guidelines were issued without “understanding the soul of Moharram”. He added, “They have issued an advisory. I have been receiving calls about the guidelines. It is about Moharram, which is our festival full of pious programmes. They have used objectionable words. They have tried to tarnish the image. DGP sahab has issued the guidelines without understanding the soul of the festival. It says there is ruckus during the festival, whereas it is a festival of mourning.”
One of the points that the clerics have strenuously objected to reads, “During Moharram, people of the Shia community read the ‘Tabarra [sermons]’, which is objected to by the Sunni community, which reads the ‘Madhe Sahaba [sermons]’, which is objected to by the Shia community. Anti-social elements from the community write ‘Tabarra’ on animals and kites and this can lead to a row…”
ADG Kumar claimed that the community leaders were “overreacting”, and added that the circular only talks of anti-social elements and not the community as a whole.
“The same guidelines were issued Moharram for several years. Similar guidelines were issued for Kanwar Yatra as well. And whatever has been said is about the anti-social elements and not about the whole community. We issue similar guidelines for other festivals too. And this is an internal order…There is nothing against any religion or community in it,” he added.
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