Curbs in parts of Valley on Muharram

Barricades were set up in city centre Lal Chowk and in the Maisuma neighbourhood, roads were blocked with concertina wire. The main flyover from Budshah Chowk to the civil secretariat was closed.
Curfew-like restrictions were reimposed on Tuesday in several parts of Kashmir, including the city, to foil any plans on taking out Muharram processions in the Valley as authorities apprehended that large congregations might lead to violence.(PTI)
Curfew-like restrictions were reimposed on Tuesday in several parts of Kashmir, including the city, to foil any plans on taking out Muharram processions in the Valley as authorities apprehended that large congregations might lead to violence.(PTI)
Updated on Sep 11, 2019 12:15 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Srinagar | By Ashiq Hussain

Restrictions were reimposed in parts of Kashmir on Tuesday to prevent any processions from being organised on the 10 day of the Muslim month of Muharram.

Strict curbs on public movement were back in place in Srinagar as security forces laid concertina wire and set up barricades to block roads and stop the mass movement of people. “I saw (concertina) wires on roads everywhere. Police and CRPF {Central Reserve Police Force} stopped me at multiple places,” said Fayaz Ahmad, a resident who managed to travel from Lal Bazar to the city-centre Lal Chowk.

Barricades were set up in city centre Lal Chowk and in the Maisuma neighbourhood, roads were blocked with concertina wire. The main flyover from Budshah Chowk to the civil secretariat was closed.

Roads leading to the Old City were also blocked at places by the security forces. “I was stopped near Pertol pump at Munawar and not allowed to enter downtown,” said another resident, Waseem Ahmad.

Police said that the situation was under control. “The restrictions were imposed in Srinagar and the situation remained peaceful,” said deputy inspector general of police (DIG), central Kashmir, V.K Birdi.

Superintendent of police, north Srinagar (Old City), Sajad Shah, said that the situation remained peaceful. “No procession was taken out,” he said.

Locals said that people congregated in small groups in the interiors away from the roads and in Imambaras

In the Shia-dominated district of Budgam in central Kashmir, restrictions were imposed in the main town but small processions were allowed.

“The restrictions were in place in main town and there was deployment of security forces. A small procession was taken out which is normal here as there is a large population of Shias. The situation remained peaceful,” said superintendent of police, Budgam, Amod Nagpuri.

Locals said that a procession was taken out in Budgam’s Magam and people marched towards Ahmadpora.

In north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, a procession was taken out in Hanjivera Pattan.“A procession of a few hundred people was asked to disperse which they did without any law and order situation,” said a police officer manning the police control room in Baramulla.

There would be large processions on the day in the past in the Zadibal area of Srinagar, Pattan area of Baramulla and Budgam, which was not the case this time.

Authorities had imposed strict restrictions on Sunday in many parts of the capital and blocked roads to prevent processions on the occasion of Muharram. The restrictions were revoked in a majority of the areas on Monday but were retained in certain pockets.

The month of Muharram is remembered in Muslim history for the sacrifice of Imam Hussain and his companions in Karbala. Many Shia Muslims would take out mourning processions in Srinagar on the 8th and 10th day of the month before the 1990s; they have been banned since militancy erupted in the state.

Life has remained out of gear in Kashmir since August 5 when the government revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, suspended communication lines and put the Valley under a security lockdown besides arresting hundreds of people and political leaders.

On Saturday the authorities had announced that no procession would be allowed from Sunday to Tuesday.

“In view of the imposition of Section-144 CrPC and in order to avoid any loss to the life and property, government has decided that no procession shall be allowed in District Srinagar on Muharram 8th, 9th, 10th, which falls on September 08, 09, 10 respectively,” said a government spokesman in a statement.

Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure bars the public assembly of five or more people.

Deputy commissioner of Srinagar Shahid Choudhary had said on Sunday that the restrictions were imposed to prevent any untoward incident. He had said that Shias could carry out their religious functions inside their religious places. He did not answer phone calls on Tuesday despite repeated attempts by HT to reach him.

Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik on Monday paid tributes to Imam Hussain on Muharram.

“Hazrat Imam Hussain and his companions sacrificed their lives for upholding the high values of truth, justice and righteousness,” said Malik in a statement on the eve of Muharram.

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Sunday, October 24, 2021