In a relief to All India Idaara Tahfuz e Hussainiyat, an Anjuman (religious organisation) representing a section of Shia community in south Mumbai, the Bombay high court (HC) has permitted them to take out a taziya from Bhendi Bazar to the graveyard at Mazagaon on Sunday (August 30) which is commemorated as Aashura, the day when the Holy Prophet’s grandson Imam Hussain was martyred in Karbala, Iraq. The court while refusing permission for a procession directed the organisation to give an undertaking to adhere to the guidelines prepared by the state for the same, failing which action would be initiated against them.
A division bench of justice SJ Kathawalla and justice Madhav Jamdar, while hearing the petition, had been informed by advocate Rajendra Shirodkar, representing the organisation, along with advocate Shahzad Naqvi that carrying of alam and taziya was part of Muharram rituals, and hence directions should be issued to the concerned authorities to permit the organisation to take out a procession consisting 20-50 people from Bhendi Bazar to the graveyard at Mazagaon. Shirodkar had also sought permission for other rituals to be held every day for two hours from August 27 to 30.
The bench had, on Thursday, directed the principal secretary (home) and the secretary of disaster management department to hear the petitioners and submit their decision on whether the organisation could be allowed permission and to what extent.
After perusing the report on Friday, the bench directed the state to prepare guidelines for the organisation to take out the taziya and alam. The state submitted that only five people, including a cameraman/photographer, would be allowed to take out the taziya. The taziya would be taken on a truck and would stop 100 metres away from the graveyard, following which four persons would carry the taziya on their shoulders and would enter the graveyard to complete the rituals.
After Shirodkar gave an undertaking on behalf of the organisation to adhere to the limited reliefs, the state submitted that it would only be applicable for the said organisation and should not be treated as a precedent.
After hearing the submissions and as the organisation consented, the court disposed of the petition.