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 Updated: October 22, 2015

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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