Can guidelines for Muharram be implemented across state? asks HC

Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court asked Maharashtra government if it could implement in the entire state a circular issued by Mumbai police on guidelines and precautions to be taken during the annual Muharram procession.

In December 2014, the city police had issued a circular on the steps to be taken during the ritual.

As per the circular, senior officials of concerned police stations have to hold meetings with Mohalla Committees prior to Muharram, ensure no children participate in the ritual, no sharp weapons are used and there will be videography of the entire procession.

A division bench headed by Justice A S Oka sought to know if the circular can be implemented in entire Maharashtra.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Mumbai resident Faisal Banaraswala, seeking a ban on participation of children in the ritual.

Muharram marks the anniversary of the battle of Karbala in which Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, was killed. To mourn his killing, participants flagellate themselves with sharp objects.

The bench has posted the petition for further hearing in January 2017.