Srinagar: Police on Tuesday virtually foiled Shia mourners to prevent them from taking out a huge Muharram procession in Kashmir capital Srinagar. Despite police action, mourners carried out processions in scattered manner in parts of Srinagar city.
Carrying religious banners and shouting pro-Islam slogans, the mourners tried to march towards the city centre where administration had imposed restrictions.
Scores of mourners took out a march from Dalgate area of Srinagar and proceeded towards the city center. However, when the procession reached Dalgate Chowk police intercepted the mourners and asked to them to retreat.
As the mourners offered stiff resistance and tried to break the cordon, police resorted fired numerous tear gas shells in air to disperse them.
However, a large number of mourners were able to proceed towards Lal Chowk where police swung into action and detained dozens of mourners.The city centre Lal Chowk was closed for people while the Amira Kadal Bridge had been also closed for traffic.
Several mourners broke the police cordon near MA Road also and proceeded towards Shaheed Gunj.Police also detained scores of Shia mourners to prevent them to take Muharram procession in Batamaloo area of Srinagar.
Mourners from Abi Guzar area of Srinagar also emerged in Press Enclave when they were prohibited to carry out a procession towards Lal Chowk. A posse of police intercepted them in Press Enclave and bundled them in police vehicles.
Heavy deployment of police and security forces was made in areas where there were apprehensions about the processions taking place, they said.
The traditional Muharram procession, to mark the eighth day of the 10-day Muharram mourning period, used to pass through the areas of Abi Guzar, Lal Chowk and Dalgate areas, but has been banned since the eruption of militancy in 1990 as authorities maintain that the religious gathering has been used for propagating separatist politics.
Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said the police respects religious sentiments of the public, but at the same time, it is their joint responsibility to defeat the ill designs of vested interests who try to disturb the peaceful atmosphere.
“We respect the religious sentiments and practices of all but at the same time it is also our joint responsibility to defeat the ill designs of vested interest who try to disturb peaceful atmosphere,” the Kashmir Zone Police quoted the IGP as having said in its official Twitter handle. Processions were also carried out in parts of Kashmir Valley that concluded peacefully.