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Rally broken up

Srinagar, March 12: The annual Muharram procession of Shia Muslims to commemorate the martyrdom of the Prophet’s grandson, Imam Hussain, and his family in Iraq 1,200 years ago are unlikely to be allowed in Kashmir for the 14th consecutive year.

This became evident as the first major attempt to take out a procession in Srinagar was put down with force by police who said they were “enforcing prohibitory orders banning assembly of five or more persons”.

The police fired tear-gas shells after hundreds of processionists refused to disperse as they gathered in the civil lines area of Srinagar’s high-security zone where prohibitory orders under Section 144 are in force. Nearly 100 processionists were taken into preventive custody.

Among those arrested are Molvi Abbas Ansari, a Shia leader and member of the separatist All-Parties Hurriyat Conference executive committee, and Javaid Mir, vice-chairman of the pro-independence JKLF.

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