Muharram Procession in Srinagar: HC Puts Ball In Govt’s Court

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Srinagar- The J&K and Ladakh High Court on Wednesday asked the government to take a call on Muharram procession from Guru Bazar to Dalgate here, observing that it’s the “domain of the administration, security agencies and other stakeholders to take a call on it.”

A registered Trust of Shia community of Srinagar through its Secretary Aga Syed Mujtaba Abbas had filed a Public Interest Litigation, seeking direction upon the State authorities to allow the Shia Community to take out the religious processions especially on the August 8th from Guru Bazar to Dalgate. The Trust had also sought directions to provide necessary security for the procession.

“Taking out the religious procession especially in Kashmir depends upon the law-and-order situation,” a bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Wasim Sadiq Nargal said.

“This court is unable to assess the law-and-order situation as well as the involvement of the security of the nation in taking out such religious procession,” the Bench said, adding, “It is in-fact the domain of the administration/security agencies and other stake holders to take a call on it and to form an opinion depending upon the law-and-order situation, religious harmony and security of the nation.”

The petitioner, the court said, has filed a representation in this regard to the Commissioner Secretary, Home, on 25 June this year.

Advocate General D.C. Raina submitted that the Commissioner Secretary will consider the representation in light of the observations made by the court.

“In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances, we dispose of this writ petition with a direction to the Commissioner Secretary, Home or any other competent authority to consider the above representation of the petitioner most expeditiously preferably within a period of three days as the month of Muharram has started,” the court said as per the order, adding, “The Commissioner Secretary or any other competent authority after taking inputs to the maintenance of religious harmony and the law-and- order situation from all security agencies of the nation consider the above representation as directed.” (GNS)

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