High Court Ordered to Keep Children out of Moharrum Processions

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MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Monday directed the State to hold a meeting with organisers of Moharrum processions to see that “children of tender age” are not made to participate in it. A bench of Justice R M Savant and Justice Sadhana Jadhav directed the additional commissioner of police (South) to convene a meeting with religious Shia leaders and organisers and “chalk out a course of action to see that no child is harmed” during the procession.

The court passed the direction in view of ensuing Moharrum which is to take place in September.

The court heard a suo motu public interest litigation “to save children” from injuries by sharp weapons, blades, knives and swords in the name of matam or mourning. Petitions were initially filed by two activists in respect of processions to be held on December 14, 2014. The high court had then appealed to religious leaders to consider the matter.

The bench was informed that no child was found injured in the procession held that year. But the bench observed that it is not “year specific” and “happens at the time of Moharrum.” “We want that whoever is involved must make a commitment not to use children,” said Justice Savant. The bench posted the hearing on July 24 stating that on that day they expect a report from the additional CP.

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