Muharram passes off peacefully

PATNA: On the occasion of Muharram, several peaceful processions of mourners were taken out here on Friday. To thwart security threats following the recent Patna serial blasts, the police had made elaborate security arrangements.

The mourners gathered in large numbers in areas such as Sultanganj Bazar, Sabjibag, Patthar Ki Masjid and Paschim Darwaza. Many of the ‘Taziadars (organizers of Tazia processions)’ curtailed their procession this year to show solidarity with the families of Patna serial blasts victims.

“We wish to observe the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain in peace and without the fear of police sirens or incidents of stone pelting,” said Azad Musvi, a member of Sultanganj Tazia committee. Many of the residents of the area said that the presence of large number of security personnel helped women come out of their homes to have a glance of the mourning activities.

“There are at least 30 important gatherings in the state capital, including Patna City and Phulwarisharif areas. Security personnel in large numbers were needed at these places, so that the situation remained peaceful,” said Patna SSP Manu Maharaaj, adding, “All the processions would be cleared by November 16 midnight.”

Members of the ‘Taziadar’ peace committees were seen camping along with the local police throughout the Ashok Rajpath, Mahendru, Patthar Ki Masjid and Paschim Darwaza to control the mourners during the processions.

Several members of the Shia Muslim community, who observed the start of Muharram, said it was difficult to follow the traditions in keeping with the urban lifestyle. However, there are many community members who continue to follow the tradition irrespective of their lifestyle. “I have been undergoing self-flagellation since I was five. It is my way of paying tribute to the martyrs,” said Mehmood Rizvi.

To ensure security, around 5,000 police personnel, both in uniform and mufti, are managing the Tazia processions in different parts of the state capital. “Several striking force teams have been formed, which include a DSP-rank officer, one magistrate and armed cops. All the routes were covered by both home guards and armed policemen,” the SSP said.

“On many occasions, people clash in a bid to reach Karbala first. To avoid such situations, three temporary police stations have been functioning at Patna City and Phulwari. Each of the police stations are being headed by an DSP,” said Maharaaj.

Five hundred traffic cops were deployed to regulate the traffic. However, a few of the routes towards Karbala, Patna City and Phulwari were one-way and no light and heavy motor vehicles were allowed though these routes.

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