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Several Muharram mourners, cops injured in Zadibal area

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Following the Covid-19 protocol, young mourners join an Ashura procession at Saidpora area in Sopore of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. PHOTO/Bilal Dar

Srinagar: Several mourners and police personnel were injured in Zadibal area of Srinagar on Sunday, the 10th day of Muharram, as mourners took to streets to mark Yum-e-Ashura.

Sources said that clashes broke out in Hawal, Sazgaripora, Alamgari Bazar and Zadibal as police and other security forces tried to stop the mourners.

It may be recalled here that the authorities on Sunday imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar and Budgam districts to prevent people from taking out Muharram processions to mark the Yum-e-Ashura, last day of the 10-day mourning period.

As per reports, three smaller Muharrum processions which were to amalgamate into one big procession at Alamgari Bazar in Srinagar were disrupted by the police. Police fired tear-smoke shells and pallets to disperse the mourners, leaving many injured, locals said.

Locals further said that dozens were injured in the police action and identified one injured mourner as Asif Dar, who was reportedly injured in the police action and was brought to Srinagar’s SMHS Hospital with pallet injuries in the face.

There were several other injuries but due to the confusion and chaos, that prevailed, it is difficult to say that how many, said some locals.

Locals alleged that police resorted to tear gas shelling and fired pellet guns without any provocation as it was a normal religious procession.

However, posting pictures of some injured cops on social media sites, Police claimed that some people amongst the mourners “attacked the police personnel, injuring several of them”, following which police had to use force.

Meanwhile, National Conference leader Tanvir Sadiq condemned the police action on the mourners.

Officials said that restrictions on the movement and assembly of people under Section 144 CrPc were imposed in parts of the city and Budgam.

In Srinagar, the officials said, the curbs were imposed in Lal Chowk and Zadibal areas.

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

Police and paramilitary forces were deployed in strength in restricted as well as other areas of the Valley to prevent any “untoward” incident, officials said, adding that the restrictions were imposed “to maintain law and order” in these areas in view of the tenth day of Muharram.

The traditional Muharram processions have been banned since eruption of militancy in 1990 as authorities maintain that the gathering has been used for propagating separatist politics. However, the smaller congregations and processions are allowed inside many Shia-dominated localities like Zadibal and Hassanabad areas of Srinagar on the condition that they would remain confined to these areas only.

Similar congregations, though in subdued manner due to various health and physical distancing protocols remaining in place in the wake of ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, were also held in other Shia localities across the Valley.

Meanwhile, on the occasion of Ashura, mourning congregations were organized by Jammu and Kashmir Anjuman-e-Sharie-Shian across the Valley where scholars explained the philosophy of martyrdom of Imam Hussain (AS) and the different aspects of the battle of Karbala, Anjuman said in a press release.

It said incarcerated president of Anjuman-e-Sharie-Shian, Hujjat-ul-Islam-wal-Muslimeen Agha Syed Hassan Al-Musawi Al-Safwi was not allowed to attend the mourning assembly at the central Imambargah in Budgam.



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