Restrictions in parts of Srinagar to prevent Muharram procession, dozens detained

Youth being taken into preventive custody for violating restrictions on Muharram procession in Srinagar on Sunday. -Excelsior/Shakeel
Youth being taken into preventive custody for violating restrictions on Muharram procession in Srinagar on Sunday. -Excelsior/Shakeel

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Aug 7: Administration today imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar to prevent Muharram procession through the city centre even as around two dozen mourners who tried to defy restrictions were detained by the police.

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Restrictions were imposed in several areas of Srinagar city today ahead of Muharram procession which was disallowed by the authorities. Police and CRPF were heavily deployed and roads in eight police station areas were barricaded to prevent Muharram procession.
The traffic was diverted through other routes and the City Centre Lal Chowk was completely barricaded as the Muharram procession used to pass through it.
Despite restrictions, the Shia mourners in small groups tried carry out Muharram procession. They raised religious slogans but were overpowered by the Police and detained. Around two dozen of them were detained, however, they were later let off.
A police spokesman said that restrictions were imposed in the jurisdictions of 8 Police Stations of Srinagar city near the one prohibited route. “This was done so as to ensure that law and order situation doesn’t arise,” he said.
The police spokesman further stated that some youth sporadically tried to come out individually at certain places but they were taken into preventive custody without using any force and without using tear gas.
“Neither any anti-national slogan nor any communal slogans was heard today. Thus, no case was registered today unlike last year’s 8th Muharram,” he said.
The district administration had decided not to allow Muharram procession on 8th Muharram through the city centre.
The Muharram procession which used to be taken out from Guru Bazar to Dal Gate in Srinagar was disallowed by the authorities. “General public is requested to respect rule of law and don’t appreciate/endorse any rumour regarding procession or rally,” the DC Srinagar had said in a statement.
Two major processions of 8th and 10th Muharram were banned in 1989 by the then administration. Since then no processions have been allowed till now through Srinagar city centre. However, in Old city and other Shia areas the Muharram processions are taken out normally.
The police spokesman said that overall situation remained peaceful in Srinagar city amid restrictions in 8 areas.
“Due to restrictions, general public and tourists had to face certain inconvenience which is regretted but this was done for larger public good of ensuring a peaceful day devoid of any scope whatsoever of communal/sectarian clashes or altercation with police and security forces,” he said.