Curbs reimposed in parts of Kashmir over Muharram
Commercial hub of Lal Chowk and adjoining areas were completely sealed off by placing concertina wires at all entry points where large number of security force personnel were deployed, officials said.Updated: Sep 09, 2019 01:15 IST
Curfew-like restrictions were reimposed on Sunday 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.
Commercial hub of Lal Chowk and adjoining areas were completely sealed off by placing concertina wires at all entry points where large number of security force personnel were deployed, officials said.
Restrictions have been in several parts of Kashmir as a precautionary measure for maintaining law and order in the Valley, they said.
The officials did not cite any reasons for reimposing restrictions but it is believed that the step was taken to prevent Muharram processions in the city and elsewhere in the Valley.
Only people with medical emergencies were being allowed to pass the barricade as the security force personnel refused to entertain curfew passes issued by concerned authorities.
“I travelled dozens of kms from the interiors to reach this point. I have to go to a hospital. Please allow me to pass,” pleaded Abdul Rashid, a middle-aged man on a bike, while security forces blocked a bridge.
Deputy inspector general, Central Kashmir, VK Birdi, did not answer calls.
Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Shahid Chowdhary, said restrictions were imposed in some areas owing to Muharram. “We did not want any untoward incident to happen,” he said.
He said Shias can carry out their religious functions inside their religious places.
Restrictions were first imposed across Kashmir on August 5 when the Centre announced its decision to abrogate provisions of Article 370 and bifurcate the state into union territories. The restrictions were lifted in phases from many parts of the Valley as the situation improved with passage of time.
The authorities have been imposing restrictions in vulnerable areas of the Valley every Friday, apprehending that vested interests might exploit the large gatherings at big mosques and shrines to fuel protests.
First Published: Sep 09, 2019 01:15 IST