8th Muharram procession foiled in Srinagar
By: Shabbir Mosavi
SRINAGAR, Kashmir: The Indian government foiled the bid of Shiite
mourners to take out a 8th Muharram procession by placing barricades
at several places and by firing tear gas shells near Jehangir Chowk
here on Thursday.
Even as the religious procession taken out on the 8th of Muharram
was banned after the start of freedom movement in 1989 in the
Kashmir valley, a group of mourners tried to defy the ban by taking
out a procession from the Shaheed Gunj area.
However, the police foiled their bid by resorting to cane charge and
also fired tear gas shells as the protesters reached Jehangir Chowk.
A few protesters were also taken into preventive custody.
Prior to the eruption of militancy, a traditional procession on
Muharram 8 used to be taken out from Guru Bazaar, city’s interior
locality, and would finally culminate at Dal Gate before passing
through the centre of the city (Lal Chowk). However, despite pleas
from several Shiite bodies, the government has not yet lifted the
ban on the procession.
As restrictions were imposed in and around the Lal Chowk area, which
is the nerve centre of Srinagar city, normal life remained paralysed
in the summer capital. Barbed wires were placed at several junctions
and public transport too remained off the roads as buses of almost
all city routes pass through Lal Chowk and vicinity.
Even as the restrictions on Muharram 8 have been in effect for
around the past 25 years, restrictions today appeared more stringent
mainly due to a public holiday in view of Mahanavmi and Dasehra and
the ensuing situation in the aftermath of the killing of a trucker
of south Kashmir, Zahid Rasool. Zahid had succumbed to injuries
during treatment in New Delhi on Sunday last after an attack by a
mob in Udhampur, Jammu.
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