Mourning and solemnity marked the “Youm-e-Ashoora”, the 10th day of Moharram, in the city on Saturday. Special prayers and meetings apart, food feeding camps were organised at several places too.
Coinciding with the occasion, the historic Bibi-ka-Alam procession was taken out from Bibi-ka-Alawa in Dabeerpura to Chaderghat. Scores of grieving members of the Shia community marched along the procession beating their chests to the chants of ‘Ya Hussain’.
A few groups flagellated themselves while some others made cuts with sharp objects such as knives and blades in remembrance of the martyrdom of Iman Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed, in the battle of Karbala in Iraq centuries ago.
The Bibi-ka-Alam, which is believed to contain a holy relic, was taken out as usual on the back of a caparisoned elephant. Men, women and children lined along the procession route and surged ahead to offer ‘dhattis’ to the Alam as it passed by.
The city has about two lakh Shias, the second largest population of the community in India after Lucknow.
About 800 “Alams” from different parts of the city were taken out and merged into the main procession
Tense moments were witnessed at the Bibi-ka-Alawa, the starting point for the procession, when the elephant Rajani got panicked.
“The elephant moved menacingly for about 30 metres. Our rope parties who had put a cordon around the elephant also moved along with it and ensured that no person came in front of Rajini,” DCP (south) V. Satyanarayana said.
Hamed Hussain Jaffery, president of AP and Telangana Shia Youth Association, president, Hamed Hussain Jaffery who witnessed the incident told The Hindu that the animal had apparently got panicked when the participants started raising slogans when the ‘Bibi-ka-Alam’ was mounted on the elephant.
The police made elaborate security arrangements on the occasion.
The procession started in the afternoon and wended its way through Kaman-e-Shaikh Faiz, Itebar Chowk, Kotla Alijah, Charminar, Purani Haveli, Darulshifa and ended at Chaderghat in the evening.
Deputy Chief Minister – Mohammad Mahmood Ali, Majlis MLC Altaf Hyder Razvi, Hyderabad Police Commissioner – M. Mahender Reddy, GHMC Commissioner Somesh Kumar, DCP (South) V. Satyanarayana offered ‘dhatti’ to the Alam.