Govt Imposes Ban On 8th, Ashura Processions

SRINAGAR: Disregarding the demands for lifting of ban on two major Muharram processions in the city, State government Monday decided to impose restrictions on public assembly in scores of areas on November 13 (8th Muharram) and November 15th (Ashura).

On November 13, restrictions under section 14 Cr.PC will be imposed in areas under the jurisdiction of police stations Saheheed Gunj, Masiuma, Kothiubagh, Batmaloo, Ram Munshi Bagh, Karan Nagar and Sherghari, official sources said.

Before the ban was imposed on Muharram processions in Srinagar during the rule of Governor Jagmohan in early nineties, a massive procession of Alam Sharief was being taken out from city’s Gurubazar area which would then pass through Jehangir Chowk, Budshah Chowk and then culminate in the evening at Dalgate.

This procession, as per an agreement reached during chief ministership of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, was taken out every year under the leadership of Molvi Abbas Ansari.

Molvi Abbas however continues to resist the ban and his followers defy govt restrictions every year along the route.

Govt has also placed ban on Ashura procession, traditionally taken out from uptown Abi Guzar to Zadibal in old city alternatively by Molvi Iftikhar Ansari and Agha Syed Hassan.

Restrictions will also be enforced on Ashura in areas under the jurisdiction of police stations of Mahraj Gunj, Khanyar, Nowhatta, Habbakadal and Safakadal, these sources said.

“Police after examining the ground situation, had intimated district administration about the possible group clashes in these areas resulting into issuance of an order from the district magistrate bearing number DM/JW/Muharam/3082-3087/13 dated 11-11-2013”, a KNS report quoting official sources said. 

Pertinently both Molvi Abbas and Agha Hassan, who happen to be part of Hurriyat Conference have rejected apprehensions of any clashes during these processions.

Smaller processions come out daily in more sensitive areas in which Muslims take part irrespective of sectarian affiliations, said Molvi Abbas chief of Ittehadul Muslimeen. 

He accused government of religious discrimination saying while successive governments have ensured political rallies and yatras they selectively have been banning Muharram processions.

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