SRINAGAR – Police Tuesday arrested Shia leader Maulana Masroor Abbas Ansari and launched a crackdown on the workers of his party, Ittehadul Muslimeen (IUM), to prevent him from leading Muharram processions this year.
Masroor, son of Maulana Abbas Ansari, heads Ittehadul Muslimeen and is highly sought after speaker during the month of Muharram. Masroor was arrested soon after he came out of Hurriyat headquarters in Rajbagh. He represents his father in the conglomerate as well. Police said Masroor was taken to Shaheed Gunj police station from where he was later shifted to Raj Bagh police station.
IUM opposes government ban on the major Muharram processions and its workers defy the ban every year. The party had even moved court to seek annulment of the ban order. Government has been citing security reasons for the ban on 8th and 10th Muharram processions. IUM however contests government argument saying it never imposed any such restriction on annual Amarnath Yatra for security reasons.
Meanwhile Masroor’s arrest has been widely condemned. A Hurriyat (M) spokesman termed it interference in religious affairs of Muslims while IUM has said his arrest will not prevent them from taking out procession on 8th of Muharram. According to reports, protests were held in several areas of Baramulla district after the news spread.
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