Separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was kept under house arrest and curfew was imposed in many parts of Srinagar on Friday to prevent law and order problems on the occasion of Muharram.
The Mirwaiz was detained because he had urged people to “defy restrictions and march” towards Jamia Masjid in the old part of Srinagar to offer Friday prayers.
Muharram commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, grandson of Prophet Mohammed, in the Karbala war. It is observed predominantly by the Shia community and hence there are possibilities of conflicts. From early morning police and the CRPF imposed curfew in areas under seven (out of the ten) police stations in Srinagar.
“The authorities placed curfew restrictions as a precautionary measure,” a police spokesman said.
Srinagar district magistrate Meiraj Kakroo told Hindustan Times the government imposed curfew to “ensure hassle-free Muharram processions (tazia)”.
“Basically curfew was imposed as a precautionary measure. We had inputs that some people wanted to vitiate peace and tranquillity in the region. The people were allowed to observe the occasion, which is auspicious for the Muslim community as a whole,” he said.
People were allowed to assemble in Shia-dominated areas of the old city. They were, however, not allowed to take processions out of those areas.
Apart from religious leaders, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Yasin Malik addressed the assemblies.
“Everything is going fine and the situation is completely peaceful,” city police chief Ashiq Bukhari told HT in the evening.