Muharram processions disallowed in J&K
The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Tuesday disallowed Muharram-related Ashoora processions for the first time in three decades, putting tens of thousands of boots on ground to prevent mourners from hitting the streets.
The government had already declared a ban on three-day Muharram processions from September 8 to 10 in Srinagar district. Ashoora is the 10th day of the Muslim month of Muharram, the day on which Imam Hussain and his family were martyred at Karbala 14 centuries ago.
The restrictions under section 144 CrPc were placed in both Shia- and Sunni-dominated areas on fears that the processions might snowball into anti-India protests. Few days back, few mourners were injured by pellets in clashes in Hassan Abad area of old city.
The Valley is seething with anger against the lockdown that has crossed a month.
The official spokesman said the decision to ban the processions was taken to avoid any loss to life and property.
Officials said the day passed off peacefully, although there were attempts to take out processions at some places such as Budgam and the Zadibal locality of Srinagar.
An official said that small gatherings were allowed in Imambaras in many parts of the Valley. Shia mourners defied the restrictions in Zadibal but there was no report of any untoward incident till the evening.
Officials said additional police and central armed police forces were mobilised to maintain law and order in the Valley. Many entry and exit points in city were blocked by concertina wires and barricades. No civilian movement was allowed in the restricted areas.
Normal life in the Valley continued to remain affected as the lockdown entered the sixth week on Monday.