8th Muharram: Mobile internet suspended, restrictions in place in parts of Kashmir capital Srinagar

Kashmir News Trust [KNT]

In a bid to maintain ‘law and order and to foil 8th Muharram processions, authorities on Sunday imposed restrictions in parts of Kashmir capital Srinagar.

Shia mourners used to carry out traditional Muharram processions on Guru Bazar towards Buchwara and Abi Guzar towards Zadibal routes, however, authorities decided not to allow these precessions keeping in view public security and law and order.

Pertinently, the District Magistrate, Srinagar issued a formal order yesterday, which cited various past incidents of violence. The order reads that, “Whereas the undersigned held a detailed meeting involving all the Field Magistrates, Police officers and leaders of Shia Community wherein they were briefed about the routes allowed/disallowed for Muharram procession”.

The order further stated that, “Whereas, Law & order and Security concern is the top most priority of the Government of the J&K keeping in view the larger public interest and safety of its citizens”.

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“In view of the above-stated facts and circumstances read in conjunction with the reports of Intelligence Agencies thereof, more particularly the security concerns of the District Srinagar with respect to the Muharram, the processions therein cannot be allowed on the Guru Bazar towards Buchwara and Abi-Guzar towards Zadibal routes respectively, keeping in mind the public interest, law & order and security”, the order also added.

The order reads “That it is witnessed from past instances/cases and upon analysis of reports/data from different security agencies with regard to incidents which have occurred during the Muharram, it is evident that not only there has been breach in peace & law and order, but also there have been Sectarian clashes which have resulted in breach of peace and threat to maintenance of law and order and also resulted in damage to public property and injuries to civilians and security forces as well.’

Meanwhile, the District Magistrate (DM) has said that Administration respects the religious sentiments and practices of all, at the same time it is the joint responsibility of one and all to adhere to the security measures to ensure protection and safety of all citizens.

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The DM also said that alternate routes for conducting Muharram Processions on said occasion have already been provided to perform the ceremonies peacefully. He further said in case of violation of said order Police/Security agencies will take cognisance of the matter under the Law.

Authorities suspended mobile internet services in various parts of Srinagar including city centre Lal Chowk falling under the jurisdiction of police station Kothi Bagh.

Barricades were put in places restricting the movement of people and vehicles.

Tourists were seen walking on foot in different parts, particularly in the Dal Gate area of Srinagar.

Neyaz Elahi

Neyaz Elahi, who switched from Electronic to Print Media is a Kashmir based Accredited Journalist who has written extensively on Kashmir for local, national and international web portals. He is currently associated with Srinagar based News Agency Kashmir News Trust (KNT).

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