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Ashura observed in Bangladesh

WT24 Desk

Shia Muslims in Dhaka have observed Ashura with mourning rituals in the remembrance of martyrdom of the Prophet’s grandson Imam Hossain in Karbala, Agencies report.

They brought out the main procession known as Tazia or the symbolic mausoleum of Imam Hasan and Hossain from Old Dhaka’s Hossaini Dalan Imambara at around 10am on Tuesday.

Pilgrims, mostly dressed in black, carried red, black and green flags amid traditional Ashura chants. A huge rally paraded through some key roads in Dhaka.

Ashura is observed on the 10th day of the lunar month Muharram in the Islamic  calendar. It marks the climax of the remembrance of Muharram when Shia Muslims commemorate the slaying of the prophet Mohammad’s grandson Imam Hossain ibn Ali in 680 AD in the Battle of Kerbala.

The day marks sacrifice and mourning in the Muslim community all over the world. Muslims in Bangladesh, especially the Shia Muslims, observe the day with religious rituals.

Earlier, the young men were seen carrying sharp weapons and hitting themselves with it in the Tazia procession which was banned after a militant attack during the preparation of a Tazia procession in 2015.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police banned carrying and showing stunts with sharp weapons, fire and sticks in the procession this year too. Creating loud sounds with drums is barred too.

Law-enforcement agencies asked the authority to ensure that no one joins the procession in the middle of the march. The volunteers have been given arm badges to identify them. Police requested people not to carry any bag or tiffin carrier.

“We have made enough preparation. We hope that everything will go well,” Feroz Ahmed, caretaker of the Imambara said.

Tuesday is a public holiday in Bangladesh marking the Ashura.

Following the tradition, Ashura preparation had started the day before in Old Dhaka.

Police, RAB and Fire Service members have been deployed since Tuesday morning from the Imambara to Dhanmondi Lake.

“Our intelligence members are also available in plain cloths. We’ve installed CC cameras in important locations. We hope to complete the event successfully,” Dhaka Metropolitan Police Additional Commissioner Krishnapada Roy said, before the start of the procession.

The Shia Muslims brought out Tazia procession also from Mohammadpur, Mirpur, Lalbagh, Paltan and Moghbazar. There were processions in other parts of the country too.

“Islam is a religion of peace and harmony. There is no scope of envy and conflict in it. The Holy Ashura will teach us to establish a society with truth and honesty and devoid of religious bigotry, extremism or militancy,” President Md Abdul Hamid said in a message marking the day.

“I hope we’ll receive the teaching of Holy Ashura to establish the truth and justice in our lives,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in her message.

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