On Thursday, after a span of 34 years, the Muharram procession was held along its traditional route from Gurubazar to Dalgate in Srinagar. Under tight security measures, the procession concluded peacefully with thousands of Shia mourners participating.
The authorities had announced on Wednesday night that the 8th Muharram procession would be allowed from 6 am for two hours along its customary path. As morning arrived, hundreds of people gathered at Gurubazar in the old city, carrying flags in remembrance of Imam Hussain (AS), the grandson of the last Prophet (SAW) of Islam, who was martyred in the battle of Karbala in the seventh century, present-day Iraq. After covering a distance of over three kilometers, the procession reached its culmination point at Dalgate.
J&K’s lieutenant governor, Manoj Sinha, paid tribute to the sacrifices of Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS) and the martyrs of Karbala. He acknowledged the historic occasion for the Shia community in the Kashmir valley, as it marked the first time in 34 years that the 8th Muharram procession followed its traditional route from Guru Bazar to Dalgate. He also emphasized the government’s commitment to ensuring a peaceful environment, freedom, love, compassion, and harmony in society.
The revival of the 8th Muharram procession was hailed as a historic event by City Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu, who credited both the LG administration and the people for making it possible. Leaders from the Shia community expressed gratitude to the administration for allowing the procession and requested permission for the Muharram 10 procession as well.
Former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah welcomed the decision but urged the government to take further steps if they believe the situation has improved. Bharatiya Janata Party state spokesman Altaf Thakur considered it a proud moment for J&K, highlighting that the peaceful conduct of the procession indicated the prevailing peace since the abrogation of Article 370. Additional Director General of Police (Kashmir) Vijay Kumar confirmed that the Muharram procession concluded without any untoward incidents, thanks to the elaborate security arrangements deployed throughout the route.