Muharram observed amid tight security in Delhi
New Delhi: Muharram was observed amid tight security in the national capital with heavy police deployment in sensitive areas including East Delhi's Trilokpuri and Outer Delhi's Bawana which have seen tensions in the recent days.
The festival is expected to remain subdued this time amid simmering tensions in some parts of the city.
Delhi Police Commando teams have been deployed along with local police, while Special Branch (Intelligence) is in touch with people of both the communities to avoid spread of rumours in sensitive areas.
Processions started in the morning from Shia Jama Masjid, Kashmere Gate, Chabi Ganj, Chhota Bazar, Bara Bazar which would end at Panja Sharif, the oldest Karbala in the city located at Kashmere Gate, in the evening. Tazias from Okhla, Nizamuddin and Mehrauli would directly reach Karbala in Jor Bagh in south Delhi.
In a bid to restore peace and harmony in Trilokpuri, which had seen clashes of two communities following a drunken brawl on Diwali night, 30 Hindu volunteers would lead five Muharram processions originating from Block 27 and 37 of the area.
Police has also roped in local volunteers to keep an eye on any suspicious activity and identify outsiders who may try to disrupt the peace in the locality.
Procession will remain restrained this time as devotees will not carry any combat weapons. They will also not inflict injuries on themselves using sharp-edged objects like blades, chains and whips which has been a tradition in such procession to mark the mourning.
Muharram is observed by Muslims to mourn the death of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad in the battle of Karbala.
Police personnel in anti-riot gear, including six additional companies of police, RAF and CRPF have been posted in Trilokpuri to deal with any situation in case of any emergency.
The processions here will start after the afternoon namaz (Zohar) and pass through routes which have already been identified and sterilized and end at the symbolic Karbala in Trilokpuri's Kotla.
Uneasy clam prevailed in Outer Delhi's Bawana with security being beefed up after Sunday's 'Mahapanchayat' demanding change in the procession route in the area claiming that it would disrupt traffic and businesses.
An alternate route was chalked out with consent of both the communities following police intervention.
Here too, the procession will remain curtailed. Devotees will not be inflicting injuries on themselves and there won't Akhara shows involving youth performing stunts with weapons.
The procession will begin in the afternoon and remained truncated to JJ cluster and not come toward the town as it used to be in earlier times.
Around 1,000 policemen have been deployed in the area and along the routes which will be closely monitored by senior police officials.