Majid Kapra

Restrictions imposed in parts of Kashmir to prevent Muharram processions

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Police foil several processions, use force on mourners; dozens detained

Police detains a Muharram mourner in Srinagar on Friday as a group of mourners took to streets despite restrictions. Photo/Javed Khan

Srinagar: Authorities on Friday imposed restrictions in parts of Kashmir to prevent people from taking out Muharram processions to mark the eighth day of the 10-day mourning period.

They said restrictions on the movement and assembly of people under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) have been imposed in Budgam and Baramulla districts and parts of Srinagar district.

In Srinagar, the curbs were imposed in eight police station areas including Maisuma, Kothibagh, Shaheedgunj, Batamalloo, Karan Nagar, Shergari, Kralkhud and Ram Munshibagh.

Shops and other business establishments in the areas, where restrictions were in place, remained shut, while public transport was off the roads. However, some private vehicles were seen plying.

The restrictions were imposed to maintain law and order in these areas in view of the eighth day of Muharram, officials said.

Meanwhile, police foiled several Muharram processions and detained dozens of mourners after they assembled in small groups and attempted to take out processions from Shaheedgunj to Dalgate here.

Police also lobbed tear smoke shells and charged batons on mourners who tried to take out processions from Batamalloo, Jehangir Chowk and Abiguzar areas. Dozens of mourners were taken into preventive custody.

It may be in place to mention that month of Muharram is observed to commemorate martyrdom of Imam Hussain (AS), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and his 72 companions in the battle of Karbala.

City centre Lal Chowk and adjoining areas wore deserted look as all the shops and other commercial establishments remained closed in view of the restrictions imposed by the authorities.

Contingents of police and paramilitary CRPF were deployed in Lal Chowk, Regal Chowk and Residency Road areas while spools of concertina wires and iron barricades were placed to regulate public movement.

Traditionally on the eight day of Muharram, Shia Muslims would take out mourning processions from Gurubazar to Imambara Dalgate till 1990. However the same was banned after militancy erupted in the Valley as authorities maintain that the “religious gatherings have been used for propagating separatist politics”.

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