Article 370 abrogation aftermath: Muharram processions new challenge for Security Forces in Kashmir

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We are reviewing the situation, no decision on banning processions yet, says top police official

Gowhar Nazir

Srinagar, Sep 03 (KNO) : Amid uncertainty of almost a month now due to the historic decision by New Delhi to scrap the Article 370, the security agencies and the State administration is facing a new challenge in the form of Muharram processions in Srinagar and elsewhere in Kashmir.

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Muharram marks the first month of Islamic Calendar. The 10th of Muharram marks the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), who was martyred in the battle of Karbala some 1400 years ago. In Srinagar, the Shia community observes the 40 day mourning period starting from Muharram 1st

According to the Shia community members, first ten days of the month hold great significance and huge processions and mourning gatherings are held across the length and breadth of Kashmir including Srinagar. On 8th, 9th, and 10th Muharram, huge processions are held in Srinagar and at all district headquarters where mourners hit the streets in large numbers, beating chests and reciting praises in favour of beloved grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). 

In Srinagar, massive processions are held in Imam Bara Zadibal, Rainawari, Shaheedgunj, Guru Bazar, Saida Kadal, Hawal, Chinkral Mohalla, and Abi Guzar. The Muharram processions stand banned since 1990 and the security agencies doesn’t allow the mourners to hit the streets including the commercial hub of Lal Chowk.

A top police officer told Kashmir News Observer (KNO) since at present the situation in Kashmir is fragile in the wake of abrogation of Article 370, the security grid will review the situation accordingly and take a final call. “It looks like that we won’t allow the mourners to take huge processions through Lal Chowk as usual.

They can hold gatherings in their respective Imam Baras,” he said wishing not to be named. Talking to KNO, Deputy Inspector General of Police Central Kashmir range, V K Birdhi said that they are reviewing the situation. “We will work out a plan soon,” he said.(KNO)

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