It is learnt the authorities are contemplating keeping a tight rein even on rallies held in Shia neighbourhoods this time.
Srinagar: The authorities have decided to impose curfew-like restrictions in the whole of Srinagar city on Tuesday, while a security clampdown will be in force in other major towns of the Valley to hold back Muharram mourning processions.
Police sources said reinforcements from the J&K police and Central armed police forces were being fanned out across Srinagar to enforce restrictions in some “oversensitive areas” from Monday midnight itself.
They will once again seal roads by laying concertina barbed wires and placing “bunker vehicles” in the middle to prevent people from coming out of their homes, the sources said.
This time, the security clampdown is aimed at thwarting attempts by Shia mourners to take out Zuljinah processions. Prior to the outbreak of militancy in the Valley in 1989-90, Shias would take out a Zuljinah procession in Srinagar along traditional route — Aabi Guzar to Zadibal — to mark Yoam-e-Ashoor, or the anniversary of the martyrdom of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Imam Hussein and his 71 family members and companions in the battle of Karbala (Iraq) in 680 AD.
Similar processions will also be organised in other districts of the Valley with sizeable Shia populations, particularly Budgam, Delina (Baramulla), Dab (Ganderbal) and Hajin-Sonawari (Bandipore).
In J&K, an official ban is in force on organising Muharram mourning rallies and processions along select traditional routes on the 8th and 10th day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, mainly in Srinagar ever since the separatist campaign became violent way back in 1989. Only small mourning rallies and processions with certain curbs will be permitted in areas having sizable Shia populations, including at Imam Barahs or the places where functions connected with Muharram are held. The clergy and local political groups term these restrictions as “unwarranted and share interference in our religious matters”.
It is learnt the authorities are contemplating keeping a tight rein even on rallies held in Shia neighbourhoods this time. However, mourning meets will be allowed at Imam Barahs to pay tribute to the martyrs of Karbala.
On Sunday, most parts of Srinagar saw strict enforcement of the security restrictions under Section 144 CrPc to thwart mourning rallies planned by Shia Muslims. The security forces fired pellet shotguns to disperse a group of mourners who attempted to take out a procession from the city’s Kathi Darwaza area, leaving 19 persons injured. The police also swooped down on a group of mourners at Mushtaq Press Enclave along Residency Road, witnesses said.