Cases registered against organizers of Youm e Ali processions

Sindh police officials have registered cases against nine organizers for following the violation of SOPs of lockdown and taking out mourning processions in Karachi on eve of martyrdom day of Hazrat Ali.

The day of martyrdom of Hazrat Ali was observed all over the country on 15 May under strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Sindh government, which had earlier imposed a ban on religious congregations and processions, reportedly later marginally relaxed its restrictions on the occasion, though on the condition that all participants would properly follow all precautionary instructions.

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According to police sources, nine cases were registered in Preedy Police Station against Shia organizers for taking out mourning procession and violating the SOPs of locked down in the metropolis.

Earlier on Friday, clothed in black, the mourners shouted slogans and recited tazia as the procession moved to its destination. Most among them were seen wearing masks, though little attention was paid to maintaining social distance.

Consequently, as the mourners dispersed, the police arrested some participants and registered FIRs against them at the Soldier Bazaar, Preedy and Frere police stations for violating pandemic SOPs.

According to Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) spokesperson, over 200 people have been arrested in Karachi, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Larkana and other districts of Sindh.

“By arresting them, the government has betrayed us,” he claimed.

Also protesting the arrests, Shia leader Allama Baqar Abbas Zaidi accused the provincial government of “creating a law and order situation.” He alleged that the police had arrested and tortured even those who were following the SOPs, warning that their patience should not be tested.

Zaidi demanded the withdrawal of all cases registered against the procession’s participants and their release.

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