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J&K: Stone-pelting during Muharram procession

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
January 20, 2008 20:09 IST
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Despite stray incidents of violence in the old city area of Srinagar, the main Muharram procession was carried out here peacefully on Sunday.

Even though groups of youths indulged in heavy-stone pelting at the police, which had been deployed in sufficient numbers following Saturday's tension, the main Muharram procession was carried out from the Shia-dominated Zadibal area of the old city in which thousands of mourners took part.

The procession ended at the local Imam Bara in the Alamgari Bazzar on Sunday evening, much to the relief of the local administration which had been on their toes to ensure law and order across the Valley.

"The day passed off peacefully," said a senior police officer. However, he said there were stone pelting incidents at Hawal, Gojiwara and Lal Bazzar.

Police used scores of teargas shells and batons to chase away the protestors who, however, continued to regroup giving the police a tough time.

Over a dozen persons including four cops were injured in Sunday's clashes.

Police and paramilitary forces had been deployed across Srinagar in the wake of Saturday's tension in which one person was killed and 22 others wounded.

Another Muharram procession which was to start from the Abi-guzar locality of uptown Srinagar was however, disallowed for the 19th consecutive year in view of the prevailing situation.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar