Srinagar, Sep 29: Amid curbs and traffic chaos, police on Wednesday foiled Muharam processions by detaining scores of mourners. The main Muharram procession was scheduled to be taken out from Karan Nagar to Dalgate, however, authorities had erected barricades and deployed contingents of police and troopers to foil the procession.
Reports said that police used mild force to disperse the mourners who appeared near Shaheedganj, Karan Nagar, Chotta Bazar, Habakadal, Abi Guzar and Dalgate.
The restrictions had been placed mostly in some areas of Shaheed Gunj, Karan Nagar, Maisuma, Kothibagh, Sherghari, Kralkhud, Batamaloo and Ram Munishi Bagh police stations.
After the outbreak of militancy in Kashmir, authorities have not allowed the processions since 1990.
Heavy deployments of police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in full riot gear had been deployed in the parts of Kashmir capital Srinagar.
Pedestrian and vehicular movement had also been suspended.
However, official sources said that this was a precautionary measure to maintain law and order. Restriction were imposed in major parts of the civil lines areas as well. These included Residency Road, Maisuma, Abi Guzer, Lal chowk, Budshah Chowk, Hari Singh High Street, Jehangir Chowk and Batmaloo had been closed by the Government forces.
Despite restrictions, scores of people tried to take out the processions at Shaheedgunj, Batamaloo and Karan Nagar areas of Srinagar city. However, their attempt was foiled by police.
Scores of mourners who tried to defy restrictions were detained by police. They were lodged in different police stations of the city.
A group of youth from Shaheedgunj locality, defied the restrictions and tried to take out a procession towards Dalgate. When the youth reached near Jehangir Chowk, they were stopped and send back.
A similar Muharram procession was taken out from the nearby Karan Nagar area that was also foiled by police. Police also foiled procession at Batamaloo. Police arrested several mourners and lodged them in police station Batamaloo.
Normal life in different parts of Srinagar city was affected due to processions and the restrictions. Police used force and fired scores of tear-smoke shells to disperse the mourners in Dalgate and on MA Road. They also thrashed a photo journalist Shah Jehangir when he was performing his professional duties.
The 8th Muharram procession would traditionally start from Guru Bazar and Shaheedgunj areas of the Srinagar’s downtown and pass through Maulana Azad Road and Residency Road to end at Dalgate. However, since 1990, authorities have disallowed Muharram processions in uptown areas while smaller congregations in localities of downtown Srinagar and in the outskirts are allowed.
Anjuman Shari Shai organized multiple Muharram processions across Kashmir Valley. Thousands of mourners participated in Zuljina procession that was carried out from Madeen Sahab Zadibal area of Srinagar city.
Besides, Zuljina processions were taken out at Abadpora, Awadawra, Bogha Chhal, Astan Sharif Wuyen Chadoora, Palar Budgam, Malik Gund Chatargam, Astanpora Sikandarpora, Gulshan Bagh Batakadal, Khomeni Chowk, Awdeena, Zalpora, Gund Nawgam, Sonaburn, Inderkoot, Gawmadao, Kehnpeth, Chhalipora and other areas.
Anjuman Shari Shian President and senior separatist leader Aga Syed Hasan while condemning the use of force on mourners said that authorities welcome Yatris during Yatra but thrash mourners for organizing peaceful religious processions.
“It is direct intervention into the religious affairs that is highly condemnable. The curbs on these processions are uncalled for and need to be lifted without any delay.” he said and added that a conspiracy is being hatched to create a wedge between Shia and Sunni Muslims in Kashmir.
A huge procession was taken out in Kargil district of Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. (CNS)