Muharram: Security heightened in parts of Srinagar

Curfew-like restrictions were imposed in parts of Srinagar city today to prevent Shia mourners from taking out Muharram processions following apprehension that separatists might convert the religious gathering into political assembly.

Strict prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC were imposed in the areas around Lal Chowk, Abi Guzar, Regal Chowk and some parts of the downtown area of Srinagar, officials said.

Shops, offices and business establishments remained shut while traffic remained suspended around Lal Chowk and few adjacent areas.

The restrictions in these areas were imposed due to apprehensions that separatist groups might attempt to stage anti-national protests during the 10th Muharram processions today, they said.

Police and CRPF personnel were deployed in large numbers in these areas to prevent any unlawful incident.

Last Friday, three policemen and a woman were injured in sporadic clashes that broke out in parts of the city after security personnel tried to stop Shia mourners from taking out Muharram processions, even as one person made a self- immolation attempt in protest.

Before the onset of militancy, the Shia community used to take out processions from Abi Guzar in Kothibagh and Guru Bazaar in Kralkhud police station areas which culminated at Dalgate in Ram Munshi Bagh area to mark the tenth day of Muharram mourning period.

However, these processions were banned in 1990 as authorities feared that militants can attack the processions.

Meanwhile, thousands of devotees assembled at Jama Masjid in ChuteRantak Leh to take part in the procession, which passed through all the main bazaars of Leh and concluded at Imam Badha Leh.

At Jama Masjid, religious leaders addressed the large gathering and stressed on unity and harmony in the world.

After ten days of mourning, 'Moharram' culminates today on the 10th day of the Arabic month Moharram i.e. Yom-i-Ashura.

We must remember and seek lesson from the sacrifices of Karbala's martyrs who gave their lives for the sake of humanity, said Shaikh Saif ud Din, the president of Anjuman moin-ul-Islam Leh while addressing the gathering.

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