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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

J-K violence, Saharanpur curfew mar Eid revelry

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 29, 2014
First Published: 15:33 IST(29/7/2014) | Last Updated: 18:38 IST(29/7/2014)

As Eid-ul-Fitr was marked across the country on Tuesday, celebrations were slightly marred by violence in Kashmir over Gaza and curfew in riot-hit Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh.

Eid celebrations in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur were muted where three people were killed and several injured in clashes between Sikhs and Muslims over a piece of disputed land last week.

Authorities eased the curfew in parts of the district from 7am to 11am on the occasion of Eid to allow Muslims to offer prayers. It will be relaxed again between 3pm and 7pm.

Riots proved to be a real dampener for children who had to remain cooped up in their houses.

In picture: Saharanpur celebrates Eid

"Eid is for kids and women and they have been the most quiet this time," said Mohammad Hussain, who lives near the Idgah.

Three-year-old Abu Bakar came with his father Bilal Ahmad to offer prayers at the Idgah.

"Kheer is waiting for me at home," said the child, who is yet to understand the complexities of the situation.

Shahar Kazi Nadeem, in his Eid address, called upon people to restrain themselves from any kind of violence and work to restore peace and harmony in Saharanpur.

Read: Saharanpur peaceful, over 50,000 people gather for Eid prayers

Protests in valley

In Kashmir, Eid was celebrated across the valley with traditional fervour and gaiety but for protests against the Israeli offensive in Gaza strip soon after the prayers.

Although peaceful protests were held at many places against the Israeli action, groups of youth indulged in stone-pelting at Hyderpora and Maulana Azad Road in the city soon after the Eid prayers in these areas concluded, police said.

According to the police, reports of similar incidents were reported from Sopore town in Baramulla district, Janglat Mandi area of Anantnag district and Shopian town.

Law enforcing agencies fired several rounds of tear smoke shells to chase away the protesters, they said, adding no one was injured in the incidents.

Rest of the valley was peaceful so far with no untoward incident reported, they added.

Men, women and children dressed in their best clothes made a beeline for idgahs, mosques and shrines across the valley to offer their prayers.

In picture: Feasting on Eid-ul-fitr

The biggest gathering was reported at the revered Hazratbal Shrine on the banks of Dal Lake where chief minister Omar Abdullah joined nearly 60,000 devotees to offer Eid prayers, police said.

At least 30,000 people offered prayers at Eidgah in the old city.

Large congregations were also witnessed at the Tourist Reception Centre ground in Srinagar and in the Anantnag, Baramulla, Shopian, Kulgam, Budgam, and Ganderbal district headquarters, police added.

In Gujarat celebrations turned sour as over 20 people were injured after a wall collapsed at a mosque in Mehsana during Eid prayers.


http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2014/7/saharanpur1.jpg
Muslims celebrating with prayer during the Eid ul-Fitr festival, marking the end of Ramzan in Saharanpur. (Virendra Singh Gosain/HT Photo)

Celebrations in Andhra, Telangana

In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, thousands of Muslims offered prayers at idgahs and mosques as celebrations kicked off to mark the culmination of the holy month of Ramzan.

Major congregations were witnessed at the historic Mir Alam Eidgah, Makka Masjid, Secunderabad Eidgah in Hyderabad.

Big gatherings were also reported in the towns of Nizamabad, Warangal and Mahabubnagar in Telangana and at Kurnool, Anantapur, Vijayawada and Guntur in Andhra Pradesh.

Police made elaborate security arrangements in both the states to check against any untoward incidents.

Reports also said that the occasion saw condemnation of the Israeli strikes in Gaza.

In picures: Eid Al-Fitr in bloodied Gaza

Read:
Muslims mark gloomy Eid amid MH17 crash, Gaza offensive

Eid greetings

Politicians took the opportunity to extend their greetings to Muslims marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

President Pranab Mukherjee greeted the nation on the occasion with "warm greetings and good wishes" to all and particularly to "my Muslim brothers and sisters in India and abroad".

"As we celebrate this day which marks the end of the holy month of Ramzan, I hope that the festival with its tradition of giving and sharing enriches our lives with a spirit of brotherhood and empathy for the deprived," said Mukherjee in his message.

"May Eid-ul-fitr reinforce the nation's commitment to mutual harmony and radiate the message of India's composite culture to the whole world," he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also sent out his greetings.

"Greetings on Eid-ul-fitr. May this auspicious day strengthen the bond of peace, unity and brotherhood across our nation," he said in a tweet.

Ramzan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, is observed as a fasting period by Muslims who abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset and it culminates in Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations.

Video: Curfew relaxed in Saharanpur for Eid



(With PTI, IANS and ANI reports)


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