Muslims turned blood donors in a village near here on Monday to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed.

Muslim residents of Amrai village in Chinhat area of Lucknow lined up at a daylong blood donation camp and gave blood on Muharram that also heralds the Islamic calendar new year.

The villagers organised the blood donation camp along with health officials.

“We decided to donate blood on Muharram in remembrance of Imam Hussain who devoted his life to humanity. In a way, our blood donation camp is also related to humanity,” said Tanveer Hussain, one of the organising members of the blood donation camp.

“Following the principles of our Imam, we also want to contribute to mankind. We believe our small initiative will definitely benefit the public. Both men and women of different age groups are coming forward to donate blood that can provide a new life to several people,” he added.

Meanwhile, in the State capital, a large number of Muslims, wearing black clothes, took out mourning processions, beating their chests and backs with chains, to observe Yaum—e—Ashura, the 10th day of Muharram which is the first month of the Islamic calendar.

Considered a day of bereavement, many Muslims observe fast, give charity and pray in remembrance of Hussain who was martyred this day around 1,400 years ago at Karbala in Iraq.

It was during the month of Muharram in 680 AD that soldiers of the ruling caliph Yazid surrounded Hussain, his family and some followers at Karbala. In the days that followed, they were denied food and water and many of them were killed in the clash that lasted till the 10th day of the month.

A heavy security blanket was thrown over parts of the old city to ensure peaceful Muharram processions. Close circuit television cameras have been installed at several places to capture every happening on and around the procession route.

Elaborate traffic restrictions have been announced for almost all the main roads of the old city area.