Srinagar: Shia community takes out Muharram procession after 3 decades
The procession was taken out by members of the community after permission was granted by the Jammu and Kashmir administration
After a gap of more than three decades, the Shia community in Srinagar on Thursday took out a Muharram procession on the Gurubazaar to Dalgate route, with hundreds participating in it.
The procession was taken out by members of the community after permission was granted by the Jammu and Kashmir administration.
Mourners assembled at Gurubazaar around 5.30 am as authorities had granted a two-hour window -- from 6 am to 8 am -- for the procession on the route that passes through the busy Lal Chowk area. The procession did not take place after the outbreak of militancy in Kashmir in the 90s.
Additional Director General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar told reporters that adequate security arrangements were made for the march.
"There was a demand from the Shia community for the past few years that this procession be allowed. After the government took a decision, we made adequate security arrangements for it," he told reporters.
This is the first time in more than 30 years that the procession on the 8th day of Muharram has been allowed on the route.
On Wednesday, Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir V K Bhiduri had said that as the procession was taking place on a weekday, the timing was restricted to 6 am to 8 am so that people do not face any inconvenience.
"There was a long pending demand from our Shia brothers that the traditional procession...from Gurubazaar to Dalgate be allowed. It was not allowed for the past 32-33 years," he had said.
The administration's decision to allow the procession, is a "historic step", the official had said. He had also said that the peaceful culmination of the programme will help the administration take similar decisions on other issues.
"The success of tomorrow's procession will make it easy for taking decisions on issues as well. If anyone tries to create disturbance under this garb, they will be dealt with strictly," Bhiduri had said.
He had said the people of Kashmir have created an atmosphere that has helped the administration to take this decision.