Muharram procession foiled
Mourners Beaten, Several Detained; 5 Cops Injured In Stone-Pelting
Srinagar, Dec 4: Normal life was paralyzed in the Srinagar city on Sunday after authorities imposed severe restrictions and used force to prevent the 8th Muharram processions.
Since morning the huge deployment of police and paramilitary personnel prevented the people from coming out in five police station areas of the old city. The personnel blocked all the entry points leading to the city center of Lal Chowk. Civilian movement was stopped in areas of Dalgate, Maisuma and Shaheed Gunj from where the annual procession was scheduled to pass.
Police laid concertina wires at Amira Kadal, TRC Crossing, Dalgate, Karanagar, Jahangir Chowk, Budshah Chowk and Footbridge to prevent the civilian movement.
The mourners, however, defied the restrictions and took out processions from various areas in old city. Hundreds of mourners assembled at Batamaloo and tried to proceed towards Shaheed Gunj. The police resorted to lathi-charge and fired scores of teargas shells. Police also used colour water-canons to disperse the crowd.
A group of mourners, showing stiff resistance, regrouped near Exhibition Crossing as clashes broke out between them and police. Clashes also erupted at Hari Singh High Street and Jehangir Chowk as some mourners tried to march towards Abi Guzar in Lal Chowk. Scores of mourners were injured in the police action while as over 120 were arrested. “Five policemen were also injured in the clashes,” police said.
The arrested persons were put in police stations Shaheed Gunj, RM Bagh, Kothibagh and Karan Nagar.
Shops and other business establishment including Sunday Market remained closed. The candidates who had to appear in exams faced inconvenience. “I couldn’t reach the examination center in time because my precious time went waste in frisking and other security measures,” said a student who had to appear in Staff Selection Commission’s Exam at SP College.
The Sunday Market vendors said: “It was a day of total losses as we couldn’t open the market.” Many shoppers, who had come for shopping, returned sad because of the restrictions.
Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Range, S M Sahai told Greater Kashmir that five policemen were injured in the stone throwing incidents. “However, overall situation in the Valley remained normal,” he added.
SSP Srinagar, Ashiq Bukhari, told a local news gathering agency that a group resisted police efforts to disperse their gatherings and scuffles broke out, but no one was reported injured.
The month of Muharram marks the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS) in the battle of Karbala.
Sunday was the eighth day of Muharram, when Muslims hold religious processions from the start of the month leading up to the 10th day, called Ashura, when Imam Hussein (AS) was martyred.
Muharram processions have been banned by the government in Kashmir since 1989.
INPUTS FROM IMRAN ALI
Lastupdate on : Sun, 4 Dec 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 4 Dec 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 5 Dec 2011 00:00:00 IST
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