Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, all public events and congregations have been curtailed, and on Sunday, those marking Ashura - the 10th day of the month of Muharram faced the limitations.
While processions have not been allowed for the most part, the Bombay High court had recently permitted one small Tazia procession to take place on Sunday in Maharashtra. Only one procession consisting of not more than five people has been permitted, and this group will travel from the Bhendi Bazaar area of south Mumbai to a cemetery in the Mazgaon region.
To this end, on Sunday afternoon, the Mumbai police released a traffic update:
The Mumbai Police also released instructions to coordinate the same. In a Twitter video, Sangramsinh Nishandar, DCP (Zone 1) elaborated on the guidelines suggested by the High Court and urged people to abide by social distancing norms and all other precautions keeping the COVID-19 pandemic in mind.
Nobody will be permitted to gather in different areas to watch the Tazia and only five people have been permitted to take the Tazia to the cemetery after parking the truck they will be travelling in 100 metres away.
Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar. Ashura, the 10th day of the month is also an occasion of grief for Muslims as they mourn the death of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, along with more than 70 of his followers at the battle of Karbala that took place in the year in the year 61 AH (680 CE).
A Tazia is a replica of the tomb of Husain and it is carried by processions during this time.