SRINAGAR – The Jammu & Kashmir government on Saturday completely banned Muharram processions — where Shia Muslims observe the martyrdom of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson 1400 years ago — in Kashmir due to current restrictions arising in the aftermath of the revocation of J&K’s special status.
“In view of the imposition of Section 144 of the CrPC and in order to avoid any loss to life and property, the government has decided that no procession shall be allowed in district Srinagar on Muharram 8th, 9th, 10th, which fall on September 8, 9, 10 respectively,” the government order was quoted by The Hindu as saying.
Traditionally, Shias would carry out a huge procession from Lal Chowk to Dalgate. The practice was banned in 1989 as militancy broke out. These religious processions would convert into anti-India protests. However, large processions would be allowed in all Shia-majority areas of Zadibal, Budgam and Hasnabad.
The government move comes after Shia Muslims clashed with security forces and raised pro-freedom slogans in Srinagar’s Hasnabad area and parts of Budgam district in the past 24 hours. Police said security forces used pellet shotguns and teargas shells to contain these processions in the old city in Srinagar.