Residents of Geneva Camp in Mohammadpur have brought out a procession to mark Ashura in defiance of a ban on mass gatherings amid the coronavirus epidemic.
Police had positioned themselves on the east side of the camp to block the procession on Sunday.
But tensions simmered as law enforcers confronted hundreds of people who took part in the rally.
Later, the procession broke through the blockade and marched on to Ghaznavi Road.
Shia Muslims typically observe Ashura on the 10th day of the lunar month Muharram in the Islamic calendar.
It marks the climax of the remembrance of Muharram when Shia Muslims commemorate the slaying of the prophet Mohammad’s grandson Imam Hossain ibn Ali in 680 AD in the Battle of Kerbala.
Every year, devotees bring out the main procession known as Tazia or the symbolic mausoleum of Imam Hasan and Hossain from Old Dhaka’s Hossaini Dalan Imambara.
But as large gatherings are currently prohibited due to the epidemic, the Dhaka Metropolitan Police urged devotees to commemorate the event indoors, in compliance with health and safety protocols.