UP: No religious processions during Muharram 2021 as per new Covid curbs; Shia clerics oppose guidelines
Lucknow, Aug 02: In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Uttar Pradesh Police on Sunday released new sets of guidelines, disallowing all kinds of religious processions during Muharram, in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. The 10-day mourning period will begin on August 10.
UP Directorate General of Police (DGP), Mukul Goel in its new set of guidelines for the state on Sunday, ordered that Muharram should be observed with COVID appropriate behaviour. The DGP said Muharram observers should keep in mind all COVID protocols and practice social distancing.
The DGP also informed that during Muharram, displays of any kind of weapon will be disallowed. He has instructed police officials to take preventive action against anti-social elements and keep a watchful eye on social media for fake and provoking content.
"All the programs to be held on Muharram should be decided in the meeting of the peace committee," Mukul Goel added. "Adequate number of police PAC force reserves should be kept in every district. Make plans to deal with every situation and rehearse them," mentioned the directions issued.
Meanwhile, Shia clerics are up in arms over the Muharram guidelines issued by the UP police and will be holding a series of meetings on Monday to decide their future course of action.
Terming an internal letter issued by the DGP office to police commissioners and police chiefs for maintaining peace during Muharram as a "charge sheet against the Shia community", the clerics demanded that the government should immediately withdraw the guidelines.
The main objection of the cleric to the guidelines is that Muharram has been repeatedly referred to as a 'festival' in the circular.