23, Oct 2015
Oct 23, 2015 – YUSUF JAMEEL |
The riot police swung bamboo sticks and fired teargas canisters to break up a Muharram tazia procession here on Thursday, leaving several Shia mourners injured. Dozens of mourners assembled in Srinagar’s Batamaloo and Jehangir Chowk areas and began marching towards the city centre, which with some other parts of Jammu and Kashmir’s summer capital had been sealed by security forces earlier after laying Concertina razor wires and other barricades to enforce a security lockdown.
The police came in their way and beat them with lathis and also burst teargas shells. Witnesses said that the mourners offered stiff resistance and marched ahead but only to be arrested by the police on charge of violating prohibitory orders in force in the area. Shia cleric and Itehad-ul-Muslimeen leader Moulvi Abbas Ansari, who is on the high-power central executive of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-led Hurriyat Conference, had announced to lead the customary Muharram tazia from Srinagar’s Guru Bazaar to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussein and his companions in the battle of Karbala. It would have culminated into an azadari or mourning majlis at city’s Dal Gate area after passing through the traditional route— Jehangir Chowk, Budshah Chowk and Moulana Azad Road. But the authorities imposed security restrictions in these and other areas falling under four pol-ice stations from dawn to hold back the procession. Mr Ansari and his son Masroor Ansari and some other leaders we-re earlier placed under house arrest.