Ram Navami Security Measures: Minority Places of Worship Covered Ahead of Processions

In April 2024, the Siddiamber Bazar mosque in Hyderabad was covered with cloth ahead of the Ram Navami Shobha procession.

Ram Navami is a Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Rama, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, on the 9th day of Chaitra, which usually falls in March or April. Ram Navami worship includes installing idols of Lord Ram, Mother Sita, Brother Lakshman, and Lord Hanuman, and performing Shodashopachar puja.

Ahead of the Ram Navami processions, more mosques and dargahs in Hyderabad are likely to be covered with cloth. The preparations and security measures surrounding the Ram Navami celebrations in Hyderabad reflect the delicate balance between religious festivities and minority safety. The covering of mosques and dargahs ahead of the procession underscores the apprehensions within minority communities regarding their safety and protection of their places of worship.

Scheduled to commence from the Seetharambagh temple at 9 am and terminate at Hanuman Vyamshala Koti by 7 pm, the procession will traverse through several areas, including Mangalhat, Dhoolpet, Begum Bazaar, Siddiamber Bazaar, Gowliguda, Putli Bowli, and Koti, before reaching its final destination at Hanuman Vyamshala.

In order to prevent any undesirable occurrences during the Ram Navami procession, the Hyderabad Police are implementing comprehensive security arrangements.

While Ram Navami holds religious significance for Hindus and is celebrated with great fervor, the implications for minority communities raise concerns about their security and well-being. The extensive security arrangements by the Hyderabad Police aim to prevent any untoward incidents during the procession, but they also serve as a stark reminder of the underlying tensions and vulnerabilities faced by minority groups in India.

A contingent of around 1,800 personnel from different units, including the Commissioner’s Task Force, Rapid Action Force, City Armed Reserve, tear gas units, mounted police, and local police, will be deployed. Moreover, certain areas will be supplemented by the presence of companies from the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).

Senior police officials held a meeting with the Sri Ram Navami Shobha Yatra Committee to deliberate on security arrangements. Mohd Ashwaq, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southwest), elucidated the security strategy, highlighting the deployment of police personnel on rooftops and the establishment of checkpoints at strategic points to oversee the procession closely. Continuous surveillance of the entire event will be maintained from the command and control center.

Raja Singh is slated to lead the Rama Navami procession in Hyderabad. Recently, he orchestrated a gathering for volunteers participating in the yatra. Through his social media platform on Saturday, he communicated,

Today, a volunteer meeting was convened to ensure the success of the grand procession scheduled for Shri Ram Navami on April 17, 2024, commencing from Akashpuri Hanuman Temple, Dhoolpet.”

Raja Singh further expressed,

A heartfelt appreciation to all devotees of Lord Ram who are dedicated to contributing to the magnificence of this event through their active involvement.”

This scenario is not unique to Hyderabad; it echoes broader issues of communal harmony and minority rights across the country. Instances of communal violence, discrimination, and targeted attacks on religious minorities have cast a shadow over India’s reputation as a safe and inclusive society. As the nation grapples with these challenges, it becomes evident that India still has a long way to go in ensuring the safety and protection of all its citizens, regardless of their religious affiliations. The Ram Navami celebrations serve as a poignant reminder of the urgent need for greater social cohesion, religious tolerance, and respect for minority rights in India’s diverse and pluralistic society.

SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

I hold a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and International Relations in addition to a Master's degree in International Security Studies. Alongside this, I have a passion for web development. During my studies, I acquired a strong understanding of fundamental political concepts and theories in international relations, security studies, and strategic studies.

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