Curbs Dampen Dastgeer Sahib Urs

SRINAGAR: Usually marked by massive gatherings and hectic bustle, the annual urs of Hazrat Dasgeer Sahib (RA) was a low-key occasion in Srinagar on Friday due to restrictions imposed by the government.

Instead of the Dastgeer Sahib shrine in Khanyar, the main gathering was held at the Buqqa-e-Aalia in upper Srinagar where curbs were not in force.

Only a brief prayer ceremony was held at the Khanyar shrine - gutted last year - with custodians bringing out the saint’s keepsakes for the mandatory sighting.

The ritual brought locals surging out of homes for their traditional glimpse of the relics, but authorities allowed only a short devotional service.    

Early in the morning, worshippers staying for night vigil had been evacuated and sent home in officially-arranged buses as most of the city came under restrictions.   

Upper Srinagar witnessed night-long services on Thursday topped by congregational dawn prayers when the Hazrat’s relics were displayed.

Markets in the vicinity had been decked with lights and flowers to mark the occasion. 

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