Maatam, processions witnessed; thousands converge on ashoorkhanas on 10th day of Muharram. Cries of ‘Ya Hussain’ resonated in the city on Friday, the Youm-e-Ashura, as open palms slapped bare chests in rhythm. Emotional scenes were witnessed as the devout were in tears in remembrance of the martyrdom of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Hazrat Imam Hussain in Karbala, now in Iraq.

The streets in many parts of Old City, especially those with a Shia-majority population such as Mandi Mir Alam, Darul Shifa and Noor Khan Bazaan, among others, turned into a sea of black with thousands donning black clothes, a sign of mourning.

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Many took to the streets to perform the organised practice of khooni maatam, or flagellation, with sharp objects such as knives and blades, as a sign of devotion, leaving their torsos bruised and bloodstained. Volunteers were seen rushing to give water to those who were in need while others washed wounds.

Security was beefed up ahead of the central Muharram procession.

Amid tight police bandobast, the procession began at around 1 p.m. from Bibi ka Alawa, primarily a Shia place of worship in Dabeerpura, with the alam or standard atop the caparisoned elephant Rajini brought from Nehru Zoological Park.

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From here, the procession travelled towards Charminar via Etebar Chowk where hundreds, including city police Commissioner Anjani Kumar and Deputy Commissioner of Police (south) V. Satyanarayana and others, paid their respects to the alam.

The process of maatam continued around Charminar and was protected by a ring of security personnel and volunteers. The procession then moved towards Gulzar Houz after which it went towards Chaderghat, wounding up there.Thousands converged on ashoorkhanas, places of mourning, to pay their respects to the alams and in remembrance of the martyrdom. Mir Abbas Ali Moosvi, mutawalli of the Badshahi Ashoorkhana, which predates the Charminar, said the Youm-e-Ashura, or the 10th day of Muharram, is an important day in Islamic history.

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“It was the day Hazrat Imam Hussain was martyred in the battle of Karbala by forces of the tyrant Yazid. Those who were martyred were not even given water,” he said. #KhabarLive