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KashmirCurfew in Srinagar areas to thwart Muharram procession

Curfew in Srinagar areas to thwart Muharram procession

Date:

Srinagar: The security forces on Wednesday enforced a curfew in parts of and 's summer capital Srinagar to prevent Shia Muslims from taking out the Zuljana mourning procession to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Islam's Prophet Muhammad, his family members and companions in the ‘Battle of Karbala' (in present day Iraq) in October 680 AD, through the traditional route.

 

At one place, the mourners violated the restrictions and were after brief scuffle detained by the police, witnesses said. While being bundled into police vehicles they raised pro-freedom and Islamic slogans.

 

However, the tazia processions were taken out in predominantly Shia localities of Srinagar and elsewhere in the Valley and also in Jammu and during which the participants chanted religious slogans and many did self-flagellation as a mark of respect for the ‘martyrs of Karbala'.

 

The local Shia clerics and organizations had in order to follow the tradition announced to take out the Ashura procession from Srinagar's Aabi Guzar locality which would have culminated into an azadari or mourning rally at Zadibal, about 8-km away after passing through different areas of central Srinagar. The police and CRPF not only sealed the areas by laying Concertina razor wire on all roads, lanes and by-lanes leading to Aabi Guzar “as a precautionary measure” overnight but also enforced curfew in several other parts of the summer capital. Similar security restrictions were put in place in the City on Monday, the eighth day of Muharram-first month of the Islamic calendar-to hold back a tazia procession.

 

The officials said that “in view of their sensitivity” curfew remained in force in some police stations areas of the old city. “However, there was no curfew elsewhere the Valley. The situation remained largely peaceful although a couple of stone pelting incidents were reported,” it said in a statement here.

 

The authorities had apprehension that the religious procession might be turned into an anti- outburst. In Jammu and Kashmir, an official ban remains in force on organizing Muharram rallies and processions along select traditional routes mainly in Srinagar ever since the separatist campaign became violent way back in 1989. Only small mourning rallies and processions with certain restrictions are permitted in the areas having sizable Shia populations including at Imam Barahs or the places where functions connected with Muharram are held by them.

 

The clergy and local political groups have termed these restrictions as “unwarranted and share interference in our religious matters.” There is, however, no ban on tazia and other mourning gatherings or procession in Shia-majority towns and other areas of Budgam, Delina, Kargil and Jammu.

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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