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HindustanTimes Sat,29 Nov 2014

Valley reverberates with Eid prayers, greetings

Ashiq Hussain, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, October 27, 2012
First Published: 14:56 IST(27/10/2012) | Last Updated: 22:43 IST(27/10/2012)

The Kashmir Valley celebrated Eid fervently on Saturday regardless of a call by hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani for symbolic protests as the day coincided with the anniversary of landing of army troops in 1947.

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Thousands of Muslims offered Eid-ul-Azha prayers across the Valley with no major violence reported from any part except for an incident of stone pelting in old city Eidgah after the prayers.

Geelani had appealed people to "stage symbolic protests on Eid prayers and renew the pledge to carry forward the struggle for the freedom of Kashmir".

Every year since insurgency began in the state in 1989, the day is marked a complete shutdown in the Valley with separatists observing it as a "black day".

"Since the day coincides with Islamic festival of Eid-ul-Azha, instead of strike people should hold symbolic protests and pass resolutions," Geelani had said expressing the intentions of offering prayers at the Hazratbal shrine.

But authorities placed almost all senior separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Shabir Ahmad Shah and Muhammad Nayeem Khan under house arrest in Srinagar.

Except for some stone pelting in old city Eidgah after the Eid prayers, police said the overall situation remained peaceful.

"There were some stone-pelting incidents but overall the situation remained peaceful," a police spokesman said. Eyewitnesses said the police and CRPF resorted to lathicharge and teargas shelling to disperse the youth in Eidgah. They said security forces broke window panes of some parked vehicles during the clashes.

Earlier, people thronged religious places like the Hazratbal shrine, Jamia Masjid, Janab Sahab Soura in Srinagar and other major towns in the Valley in thousands to offer Eid prayers.

After the prayers, people remained busy in visiting their relatives and friends to share the meat of their sacrificial animal, locally called Qurbaan.

CM offers prayers at Hazratbal
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah offered prayers at the Hazratbal shrine, while union minister for renewable energy Farooq Abdullah joined the congregation at the Syed Yagoob Sahab shrine in the Sonawar area of Srinagar. He also interacted with people and shared Eid greetings and extended good wishes to them. The chief minister also prayed for peace, prosperity and progress of the state and the country. Scores of people also visited the chief minister's residence here to convey their Eid greetings. The advisor to the chief minister, Mubarak Gul, also offered Eid prayers at Hazratbal.

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