The Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday banned processions on Muharram citing COVID pandemic and security concerns.
According to reports, it has directed district authorities not to allow any religious processions during Muharram.
In an order issued by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi to district magistrates, senior superintendents of police and other senior officials, 'Tazias' are not allowed to be installed publicly. However, they can be set up at homes. "Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, no permission should be granted to take out any processions/'Tazias'," the order read.
The officials have also been asked to talk to religious leaders to ensure strict adherence to the order. An adequate police force will be deployed in sensitive areas and containment zones.
Awasthi has ordered officials to be vigilant about anti-social elements who may try to disturb communal harmony. "Special attention should be paid to anti-social elements and those spreading rumours. Checking should be conducted at public places like railway stations, bus stations and religious places,” he said in the order.
Further, the district officials have been asked to monitor social media for “objectionable content” and take strict action in such a case.
"Social media should be routinely monitored and appropriate action should be taken in case an objectionable post is found. The post must be blocked. Special alertness must be maintained as the possibility of increased sensitivity due to Muharram occurring in the month of Shravan cannot be ruled out," the order added.
Amidst the fears of the third wave of COVID in the country, the Adityanath-led government allowed Kanwar Yatra, however had to call off the decision after Supreme Court's order.