Police foil Muharram processions in Srinagar
Srinagar: Police on Tuesday foiled processions by members of the Shia community here to mark the eighth day of the Muharram mourning. Several members of the community were detained at various places in the city.
Several members of the community were detained at various places in the city, they said.
The officials said a huge number of Shia mourners tried to take out a procession in Dalgate area of the city here. They were asked by the police to disperse, but they refused and tried to march on.
The police had to resort to baton charging and firing of teargas shells to disperse them, the officials said, adding, however, there were no reports of any injuries.
The police also fired some teargas shells in Jehangir Chowk area of the city to disperse the Shia mourners.
Clad in black dresses, few members of the community tried to take out processions at a few other places, but were barred by the police and some of them were later detained.
Heavy deployment of police and security forces was made in areas where there were apprehensions about the processions taking place, they said.
While the police said there were no restrictions anywhere in the city, barricades were put up at many places here to stop the mourners from taking out processions.
The traditional Muharram procession, to mark the eighth day of the 10-day Muharram mourning period, used to pass through the areas of Abi Guzar, Lal Chowk and Dalgate areas, but has been banned since the eruption of militancy in 1990 as authorities maintain that the religious gathering has been used for propagating separatist politics.
Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said the police respects religious sentiments of the public, but at the same time, it is their joint responsibility to defeat the ill designs of vested interests who try to disturb the peaceful atmosphere.
“We #respect the religious #sentiments and practices of all but at the same time it is also our joint #responsibility to defeat the ill designs of vested interest who try to disturb #peaceful atmosphere,” the Kashmir Zone Police quoted the IGP as having said in its official Twitter handle.
Police also foiled Muharram processions at Batamaloo, Hari Singh High Street and Maulana Azad Road here and detained dozens of mourners after they assembled in small groups and attempted to take out processions to Imambara Dalgate.
The holy month of Muharram is observed to commemorate martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussain (AS), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his 72 companions in the battle of Karbala.
Sub-District Police Officer (SDPO) Kothibagh, Ghulam Mohidin also received minor injuries after mourners clashed with police at Maulana Azad Road. Witnesses said that police also resorted to tear-gas shelling at Dalgate after the mourners tried to march towards the Imambara.