Main Ashura procession foiled

Restrictions Paralyze Life, 40 Injured In Clashes, 90 Held

SHABIR IBN YUSUF

Srinagar, Nov 25: Authorities on Sunday prevented the mourners from taking out main Ashura (10th Muharram) procession from Abi-Guzar here by imposing severe restrictions in different parts of the city. However, Ashura was observed with religious fervor in different parts of the Valley and Ladakh region.
 Ashura is observed as a symbol of sacrifice and mourning. Around 1400 years ago, Hussain (AS)—the beloved grandson of Prophet Muhammad (SAW))—was martyred along with his family and friends at Karbala in Iraq by the armies of tyrant ruler Yazeed.

LAL CHOWK UNDER SIEGE
 Normal life came to grinding halt in parts of Srinagar on Sunday as hundreds of police and paramilitary men were deployed in the city centre Lal Chowk to prevent mourners from taking out Muharram procession . Various Shia organizations had announced that main Ashura procession would be taken out from Abi Guzar to Zadibal Hazrat Ali (AS) Park here. However, force personnel had sealed all the roads leading to Lal Chowk by placing concertina wire. Police and CRPF men were also deployed along the banks of river Jehlum. Business establishments, shops remained closed and traffic remained off the roads.
 Police had sealed exit and entrance points at Jehangir Chowk, Radio Kashmir, Abi Guzar and M A Road.
 Pertinently, District Magistrate Srinagar, Baseer Ahmad Khan, on Saturday had said the district administration had decided to ban the Muharram processions. He had said Section 144 is in force in Srinagar that prohibits assembly of more than four persons. A police officer told Greater Kashmir that restrictions were imposed in five police stations, Maisuma, Kralkhud, Kothibagh, Shaheed Gunj and Ram Munshi Bagh. “We did not allow assembly of four persons in the jurisdictions of these five police stations,” he said
 Pertinently, the Ashura procession used to start from Guru Bazar and Shaheed
Gunj areas of the Srinagar and pass through Maulana Azad Road and Residency Road, Dalgate to end at Alamgari Bazar, Zadibal. However, Valley is witnessing a ban on Muharram processions since the eruption of armed rebellion in early nineties.

40 INJURED IN CLASHES
 At least 40 persons were injured in clashes between mourners and force personnel which broke at four different places in Srinagar on Sunday.
 The clashes, according to the witnesses, broke at Hawal, Gojwara, Batamaloo and Nowhatta. Police and CRPF men prevented mourners from taking out Muharram processions following which mourners pelted stones. “Force personnel retaliated with cane charge and teargas shelling in which at least 40 persons sustained injuries,” witnesses added.
 Police sources said that around 90 mourners were taken into “preventive” custody.

PROCESSIONS
 Amid tight security arrangements Ashura processions were taken out in Alamgari Bazaar, Balhama, Baarji Harwan, Kral Mohalla Harwan, Gulshanbagh Lal Bazar, Solina. Thousands of mourners participated in these processions.
 In north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, Ashura processions were held in Hanjivera Pattan, Mirgund and several areas.
 In south Kashmir’s Awantipora district the processions were taken out at Wakharwan Awantipora and Panner area of Tral.
 In central Kashmir’s Budgam district Ashura processions were taken out in Gazi Manzil Imambada Yousufabad, Magam, Askinderpora Beerwah and Sonpah Beerwah.
 In Ganderbal district Ashura processions were held at Bat Kallan and Malik Mohalla Dub and in south Kashmir’s Islamabad (Anantnag) district processions were held at Chattergul Achabal and Sofipora Phalgam.
 In Kulgam district processions were taken out in Wangam Devsar. Ashura processions were also taken out in Leh town, Turtuk, Partappora of Ladakh region.
 Authorities had made elaborate security arrangements for Ashura processions in other parts of the Valley and Ladakh region. Ashura processions were also taken out in Kargil.
 Hundreds of mourners assembled in Imam Bara of Poyeen and took out a procession which moved through main market of Kargil town and ended at Islamiya school Kargil and Youth Park Kargil.

POLICE VERSION:
 Police termed the situation as peaceful. According to a statement issued by Police Media Cell situation remained peaceful across the Valley barring a few incidents of stone pelting in Gojwara Chowk and Pulwama town. The statement said that three policemen were injured and a police vehicle was damaged in clashes, adding police exercised maximum restrained and dispersed the “miscreants.”
 “As a precautionary measure restrictions were imposed at few places in Srinagar,” it said.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 25 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 25 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 26 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST




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