UP bans Muharram processions

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: To reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and in view of security concerns, the Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday directed the district authorities to not allow any religious processions on the occasion of Muharram.

The order was issued by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi to district magistrates, senior superintendents of police, and other senior officials. As per the order, installing ‘Tazias’ publicly has been prohibited, however, they can be set up at home. The order directed officials to pay special attention to “anti-social elements” and those spreading rumors, stating that checking should be conducted at public places like railway stations, bus stations, and religious places.

It also said that social media should be routinely monitored and appropriate action should be taken in case an objectionable post is found, adding that the post must be blocked.

The order directed the officials to maintain special alertness “as the possibility of increased sensitivity due to Muharram occurring in the month of Shravan cannot be ruled out.”

It also directed officials to talk to religious leaders to ensure strict compliance with the order.
The order said that an adequate police force will be deployed in sensitive areas and containment zones.

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