HC to issue guidelines to keep children out of Moharrum rituals

Written By Unknown on Selasa, 10 Februari 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Bombay High Court today is likely to issue guidelines to ensure that children are not made to participate in rituals practised during Moharrum processions.

A division bench of Justice V M Kanade and Justice Revati Mohite-Dere will hear a suo motu public interest litigation to save children'' from injuries by sharp weapons, blades, knives and swords in the name of matam (mourning). Petitions were filed by two activists in respect of processions to be held on December 14, 2014. Several Shia bodies intervened in the matter and opposed the petition. HC thereafter spontaneously took over the matter. The State had assured the court that it will take steps to see that no harm is caused to children below 18 years on December 14.

The court was informed on January 13 that not a single child was inflicted with

Injuries. Public prosecutor Sandeep Shinde had submitted an affidavit in reply which stated that no child was found inflicted with injuries and that processions passed off peacefully. The affidavit said processions carried out under jurisdictions of police stations including Dongri, J J Marg , Byculla, Kherwadi, Meghwadi and Malwani were videographed. Further, instructions were given to then police stations to ensure that neither adult nor minor participants should be inflicted with injuries by weapons or other means and organisers asked to use image/facsimile weapons. In the moharrum procession no child was found either inflicting injuries on himself or other persons inflicting injuries on the person of the child, be that as moharrum or otherwise,''it added. It also informed that nine persons were booked for inflicting self-injuries and released by the magistrate on a fine of Rs 1200/- each.

The judges then said the court is concerned about the safety of children and they should not be made to take part. We are concerned with the safety of children. Far as religious rites are concerned, the court does not like to interfere. Care should be taken to see that children are do not take part,'' said Justice Kanade. The bench adjourned the hearing to February 9 saying they will hear the matter and issue some guidelines.

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