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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Shia mourners defy curfew in Srinagar; detained

PTI  Srinagar, November 13, 2013
First Published: 14:19 IST(13/11/2013) | Last Updated: 16:36 IST(13/11/2013)

Several Shia mourners were today detained for defying curfew with police using batons and teargas shells to foil repeated attempts by the community to take out processions to mark the eighth day of Muharram in Srinagar.

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The Shia mourners were detained by the police at Jehangir Chowk, Batamaloo, Karan Nagar and Maulana Azad Road areas of the city, parts of which were placed under curfew by the authorities to thwart the traditional processions on the eighth day of Muharram, the first month of Islamic calendar, apprehending law and order problems, officials said.

Police used teargas shells and batons to disperse the mourners who were carrying black flags and chanting religious slogans, they said, adding that several mourners were detained.

Muharram processions through Lal Chowk and Dalgate were banned after the eruption of militancy in the Valley in 1989.

However, the processions are allowed in interior parts of the city, including Zadibal and various Shia-dominated areas across the Valley.

Meanwhile, a Shia organisation criticised the authorities for imposing curfew and using force to "curb religious freedom".

"Jammu and Kashmir is the only state where the government imposes ban on these processions during the holy days of Muharram," Pairwan-i-Villayet head Maulana Sibti Muhammad Shabir Qumi claimed in a statement.

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