01:12 GMT01 November 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): India’s apex court last week forbid Muharram processions in the country amid a rising number of coronavirus cases there, saying it could lead to “chaos” and “targeting of a particular community for spreading COVID-19”.

    Defying the Supreme Court of India, hundreds of Muslims converged on the streets to join the annual Muharram processions in the Indian city of Hyderabad in Telangana state despite the raging coronavirus pandemic.

    The mourners gathered wearing black clothes in accordance with custom, and conducted the processions while performing ceremonial chest-beating. The participants were seen not maintaining social distancing and without face masks in the pandemic's third-worst-affected country.

    The processions were taken out despite the Telangana High court banning the observance of Muharram; the Supreme Court of India on 27 August rejecting a plea to allow it.

    ​The state government is facing a backlash over the procession from opposition political parties and people on social media.

    ​For the first time historic ‘Bibi-ka-Alam’, held annually in old city of Hyderabad and attended by people from across the country, was taken out on a van instead of an elephant. The archive picture shows the elephant leading the procession.

    Shia Muslims observe Muharram by mourning the death of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Hussein Ibn Ali, on the 10th day of the first month of the Islamic almanac.

    People on this occasion gather in streets for processions with decorated “Tazia” - a replica of a coffin - and perform ceremonial chest-beating.

    India has a total of 781,975 active coronavirus cases, and has registered 78,512 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours. The highest record for a single-day spike of 78,761 cases, put India’s Covid-19 at 35,42,733, on Sunday, as per federal Health Ministry data.

     

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