Moharram procession foiled, curbs imposed in Srinagar

A deserted road in Srinagar during restrictions on Sunday. — Excelsior / Shakeel
A deserted road in Srinagar during restrictions on Sunday. — Excelsior / Shakeel

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, Sept 8: Authorities today imposed curfew like restrictions in Srinagar and other towns of Kashmir to prevent Moharram processions of Shia Muslims and detained at least two dozen Shias in Lal Chowk area for trying to carry out procession.
The normal life in Valley continued to remain disrupted for 35th day today since August 5 when Article 370 which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir was abrogated.
Police vans fitted with loud speakers announced curfew like restrictions in Srinagar’s city centre, Lal Chowk and adjacent areas this morning. “Section, 144 is imposed in Srinagar so no assembly is allowed. People are advised to stay indoors and not to venture out of their homes”, the police announced.

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The 5 kilometer Moharram procession route between Guru Bazar and Dalgate that passes through city centre Lal Chowk was completely barricaded by police and CRPF.
The armoured vehicles were also patrolling the area to prevent the Shia procession. People with movement passes including journalists were not allowed at the barriers. However, some journalists managed to walk through lanes and bylanes to reach Partap Park where most of them have their offices.
The troops had closed all the Srinagar city roads with concertina razor wire and iron barricades. The police and CRPF were not allowing any movement at these barricades. A senior Government official said that Section 144 of the CrPC was imposed in Srinagar and other major towns so assembly of 4 or more people was not allowed. He said that under this Section assembly of people including Moharram processions are not allowed.
Despite restrictions, around two dozen Shia mourners tried to carry out Moharram procession at Abi Guzar, Regal lane and Partap Park but security forces stopped them and they were beaten up before being whisked away in police vehicles to nearby Kothi Bagh Police Station. In Shia dominated Budgam, the mourners clashed with police and para-military forces today after troops intercepted a Shia procession. An official said that at least half a dozen mourners were injured as troops fired teargas to foil the procession.
This is the third consecutive day that security forces foiled Moharram procession in Budgam town by firing teargas. Last evening one dozen persons including half a dozen para-military troops were admitted to Srinagar’s Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital and police hospital with pellet and stone injuries.
They were injured in Rainawari area of old city after troops intercepted a Moharram procession yesterday afternoon. Security forces intercepted the Moharram procession by firing teargas.
The Shia mourners who were insisting on carrying out the procession pelted stones on the security forces.
This led to clashes that continued till late night during which security forces fired teargas and pellets.
Few dozen Shia mourners were injured in pellets and teargas shelling. Majority of them were treated locally and seriously injured were taken to hospital.
Markets and other business establishments remained closed while public transport was off the roads with some private vehicles plying on few roads.