Normal life was paralysed in the Srinagar city on Sunday as authorities imposed curfew like restrictions to prevent the 8th Muharram processions.
Inspector General Police Kashmir Range A G Mir told KNS that situation remained peaceful throughout the Valley. “Restrictions were imposed in few police stations and it was completely normal. In recent years there used to be traffic problems on the day, but this time we had prepared a proper traffic plan,” he said.
The IGP said there would no restrictions on Monday and they will take a call whether to impose restrictions on Tuesday or not. “We allow processions on 10th Muharram. It is only in few areas where restrictions remain imposed on 10th Muharram,” Mir added.
Reports reaching KNS said since early morning authorities had deployed police and paramilitary personnel in large numbers to prevent people from coming out in nine police station areas in the city. All the entry points leading to the city center Lal Chowk were sealed and civilian movement was stopped in areas of Dalgate, Maisuma and Shaheed Gunj from where the annual procession was scheduled to pass.
The police had laid concertina wires and barricades at several places in old city area and Amira Kadal, TRC Crossing, Dalgate, Karan Nagar, Jahangir Chowk, Budshah Chowk and Footbridge to prevent the civilian movement.
Shops and other business establishment including Sunday Market remained closed. The vendors at SundayMarket said it was a day of total losses for them. “We were trying to restart our business after the recent devastating floods but today’s restrictions spoiled our efforts,” a vendor told KNS.
The mourners at some place, however, defied the restrictions and tried to take out processions. Reports said mourners assembled at Batamaloo and tried to proceed towards Shaheed Gunj, but police dispersed them, reports said.
Reports of processions were also received from Khanpora, Yechegam, Palar villages in Budgam, Magam, Bemina in Srinagar, Hygam in Baramulla.
A police spokesman said there were no reports of any untoward incident from any place. “Situation remained normal and under control throughout the valley. As a precautionary measure, authorities had put in place restrictions under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, under areas falling under seven police stations which included Ram Munshi Bagh, Maisuma, Kothibagh, Kralkhud, Parmipora, Shaheed Gung and Sherghari,” he added.
The month of Muharram marks the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS) in the battle of Karbala. Sunday was the eighth day of Muharram, when Muslims hold religious processions from the start of the month leading up to the 10th day, called Ashura, when Imam Hussein (AS) was martyred.
Muharram processions have been banned by the government in Kashmir since militancy started in 1990.