On Ashura, Police imposes restrictions in City


Srinagar, Dec 6: Police on Tuesday imposed restriction in parts of Srinagar city to maintain ‘law and order’ as several mourners’ processions were scheduled to be taken out to commemorate the martyrdom of Prophet Mohammad’s (SAW) grandson, Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS) and his family in Karbala.
From the early morning security had been beefed up in the city including Lal Chowk as Muharam processions were scheduled to be taken in several areas.
Heavy contingents of para-military CRPF troopers and police were deployed at Lal Chowk, Jehangir Chowk, Maisuma, Kothibagh, Kralkhud, M R Gunj, Haba Kadal, Safa Kadal, Nowhatta, Ram Munshi Bagh, Dalgate and Khanyar areas blocking all exit and entry points. Traffic was not allowed in the city centre and people were forced to stay indoors.
The Muharram procession of the 10th day of the first month of the Islamic calendar would traditionally start from Guru Bazar and Shaheed Gunj areas of the Srinagar ’s downtown and pass through Maulana Azad and Residency Road, Dalgate to end at Alamgari Bazar, Zadibal.
However, for the last more than 20 years, authorities have disallowed huge Muharram processions in uptown areas while smaller congregations in Shia localities of downtown Srinagar and in the outskirts are allowed.
No movement was being allowed in the city centre and its adjoining areas as entry points to the Lal Chowk were sealed from all sides. Police and paramilitary forces had erected barricades and concertina wire at several intersections to block pedestrian and vehicular movement. In five police station areas of Maisuma, Kralkhud, Kothibagh, Shaheed Gunj and Ram Munshi Bagh under undeclared curfew was imposed to thwart any attempt to carry out processions.
Shops, vehicular traffic, business activities and pedestrian movement remained suspended in city centre Lal Chowk, adjacent Maisuma, Residency Road and several old city areas.
Police and CRPF personnel were also deployed along the banks of river Jhelum to prevent people from reaching Lal Chowk using boats, official sources said.
Muslims, especially Shia Muslims throughout the world take out mourning processions and hold majlis (gatherings) during the first ten days of the Muslim month of Muharram, which is known as ‘Ashura’. The mourning reaches a climax with major processions on the 10th day.
The Chairman of Hurriyat (M), Mirwaiz Umer Farooq addressing a gathering at Narwara in Srinagar reaffirmed the Kashmiris’ resolve to continue their liberation struggle till it reaches to its logical conclusion. Mirwaiz urged India to withdraw its troops, release detained leaders and activists and stop human rights violations in J&K.
Senior Hurriyat (M) leaders, Agha Syed Hassan Al-Moosvi and Maulana Abbas Ansari addressing Muharram congregations took strong exception to the ban by the authorities on Ashura processions in Srinagar. They said that the international community should take it as a challenge that religious freedom is being “brazenly trampled over by the Indian authorities in Kashmir.”
Other separatist leaders, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Ahmed Khan and Javed Ahmed Mir in their statements also condemned the police action against the mourners terming it a “brutal act.”
Meanwhile, Chairman Hurriyat Conference (G), Syed Ali Shah Geelani has strongly denounced the use of force against mourners by police and troops in Srinagar.
Geelani in his statement deplored that the government had imposed ban on Muharram processions without any justification for the past over two decades. He appealed to the international community to impress upon India to stop human rights violations in the occupied territory and give the Kashmiris their inalienable right to self-determination.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here