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Pune: PMC bans Muharram processions in city

The existing restrictions due to the pandemic will not be relaxed for Muharram and has to be strictly followed by everyone, Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar said.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: August 13, 2021 7:34:31 pm
Shias mourn Muharram to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, who was killed in the Battle of Karbala. (Express photo: Shashi Ghosh)

Continuing with its restrictions on religious events due to the ongoing pandemic, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has banned Muharram processions in the city.

Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar said Muharram falls on August 19 and members of Muslim community organise processions to mark the occasion. “It is necessary to take measures to check the spread of Covid-19. Thus, public functions and festivals are being celebrated in a simple manner since last year. The same needs to be followed during Muharram,” he said.

There is ban on social and religious functions so processions for Muharram can’t be taken out this year, said the municipal commissioner, adding that members of Muslim community should observe Muharram at home following Covid-appropriate behaviour. The prayers should be carried out through an online medium, he said.

The existing restrictions due to the pandemic will not be relaxed for Muharram and has to be strictly followed by everyone, said Kumar.

Meanwhile, Ganesh mandals in the city have responded to an appeal by the civic body to celebrate the 10-day festival in September in a simple manner. Representatives of Ganesh mandals on Thursday held a meeting with officials of PMC and local police on deciding the strategy for the festival.

The state government has banned processions for the festival, citing fear of a third wave of Covid-19 infections. The Ganesh mandals have decided to keep the celebrations simple without taking out any processions.

“We thank the Ganesh mandals for positively responding to the PMC’s appeal of not having a grand celebrations for the traditional Ganesh festival. They have been urged to telecast the aarti and rituals through the internet so that devotees can witness them from home,” said Mayor Murlidhar Mohol.

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