Occupied Kashmir: The J&K police and the CRPF on today once again enforced a security clampdown in summer capital Srinagar, this time to hold back a mourning procession planned by Shias to mark the ninth day of Muharram.
The events associated with Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, mark the anniversary of Battle of Karbala when Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (SAWW), was along with his 72 family members and companions martyred by the forces of Yazid at Karbala (Iraq).
At places, including Batamallo and Karan Nagar, Shia mourners made repeated attempts to defy the restrictions but soon the police and the CRPF came in their way resulting in brief scuffles. The security personnel used force to prevent the protesters from marching towards the city centre, causing injuries to half a dozen of them, witnesses said, adding that the mourners were later bundled into police vehicles and removed from the scene.
The authorities termed the security clampdown as strict imposition of prohibitory orders under Section of CrPC in areas under police stations of Shaheed Gunj, Batamaloo, Shergarhi, Karan Nagar, Maisuma, Ram Munshi Bagh, Kothi Bagh, Kralkhud and Parimpora. However, residents said they were being told by the police and the CRPF fanned out in large numbers in areas overnight to stay indoors as curfew was in force. While various religious and political groups of Jammu and Kashmir condemned the move describing it as unwarranted interference in religious affairs of Muslims and curbing of their religious freedom, the authorities said that the restrictions were imposed to maintain law and order.
Witnessed said huge contingents of the police and the CRPF in riot gear manned the streets in Srinagar areas after laying concertina razor wire on vital roads and side streets particularly those leading into Shia-populated areas of Shaheed Gunj, Dalgate, Babapora, Chattabal, Aabi Guzar and Qamarwari to prevent mourners from taking to streets. Since 1989, Muharram processions have been disallowed along traditional routes in Srinagar after the Kashmiri separatist campaign burst into a major violence in the Valley.