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Ban on Muharram in J&K


Ban On Muharram Procession

HC directs state to file objections


Srinagar, Dec 19: The High Court on Thursday directed the state government to file objections within four weeks on a petition filed by the Ittihadul Muslimeem in January this year that asked Court to quash the ban orders.

The petitioner seeks quashing of the ban on Muharram procession imposed by the former Governor Jagmohan in 1989.

The single bench of Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir directed additional advocate general Muhammad Amin Rathore, Financial Commissioner Home, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir District Magistrate Srinagar to file objections within four weeks.

The government has already imposed ban on carrying out Muharram procession on 8th and 10th Muharram. Despite several requests by the petitioners, the state government has not communicated the ban order to them. The petition has sought quashing of the ban terming it as violation of international law and denial of religious rights.

The petitioners through their counsel Riyaz Ahmad Khawar submitted before the Court that Shias were taking two processions. One would start from Namchbal and conclude at Imambada Zadibal and other would start from Alamgari Bazar and conclude at Khushalsar. But since 1977 at the request of the then Chief Minister Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, Shias agreed to take out procession of Zul Janah unitedly from Abi Guzar to Zadibal Srinagar.

However, in 1989 the then Governor imposed ban on taking out these two processions and the ban is still in vogue, the petition said.

The petition says that the religious processions were being taken in the valley since 1527 AD when Sultan Muhammad Shah was the King. The Itihadu-ul-Muslimeen has been seeking permission for taking out the procession on the eve of Ashura from the District Magistrate Srinagar and the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir.  Both the officials have granted permission in the past, but when the people were taking procession the respondent State “used brute force to crush it,” the petition said.

The petition reads that the petitioners have a constitutional and legal right to profess their faith and religion and the state is bound to facilitate the religious practices of its citizens. It says that the action of the state is violation of the constitution and law and amounts to religious interference. The petitioner’s counsel argued that the freedom of religion is even guaranteed by the International law and declaration on elimination of all forms of intolerance and discrimination based on the religion or beliefs. Thus, the petition says, action of the respondent State is flagrant violation of international law and the domestic law as respondents are consistently and constantly restraining the petitioners.

(Courtesy: Daily Greater Kashmir, Dec 20, 2008)

Ban on Muharram procession Continued in Kashmir

100 injured, 80 arrested, 80 yr old woman beaten

Srinagar, Jan 06, 2009: More than 100 mourners were injured and nearly 80 others arrested by the police as thousands of people Tuesday defied prohibitory orders of the State administration to take out a Muharram processions in the city.

Thousands of mourners took out a Muharram procession from Gow Kadal area here in the commercial hub of the city. As soon as they reached near the old KMD bus stand, a posse of police and paramilitary CRPF deployed there prevented them from marching towards the Hyderia Hall at Drugjan Dalgate.

While police and CRPF did not allow mourners to move towards Dalgate, processionists started pelting stones at police and CRPF.

Police targeted processionists with tear smoke canisters and batons injuring over 80. Station House Officer of Maisuma police station Muhammad Ashraf and two police constables were also injured in the clashes.

The State administration in 1990 banned Muharram procession. However in December 2008, State High Court directed the state administration to file objections on why the procession had been banned.

The processionists today had continuous scuffles with police and few of them managed to reach Dalgate wherefrom they were not allowed to move into Imambada at Drugjan.

Police had sealed the Imambada and even restricted journalists to enter the Imambada.

The procession organized by Ittihadul Muslimeen was lead by Masroor Abbas Ansari, president of JKIM and prominent Shiia cleric and scholar of Kashmir.

The processionists were raising slogans remembering the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) in the historical battle of Karbala in 61AH.

The day is remembered as a preparation of war against the evil. On 10th Muharram, 61 AH and 680 AD, when access to water was banned to Imam Hussain (RA), the Imam and his companions started preparations of war against the opposition.

The mourners were carrying big posters of Imam Khomainie (RA), Ayatullah Khameini and Hizbullah Supremo Hassan Nasrullah and raising anti-Israel slogans and praising the Hamas and Palestinians for their determination to fight Israeli aggression.

Scores of women who were accompanying men in the procession were beaten by women police and few of them were arrested as well.

Police also beat a women mourner Jala Beghum, 70, of Hawal.

“Police is repeating what happened in Karbala. They are ruthless and don’t care for our religious sentiments,” said Nighat who had come from old city to join the procession.

However police had sealed all entry points leading to Hydriya Imambada Dalgate.

People living in and around Dalgate had assembled at the Imam Bada but nobody was allowed to enter from outside. Women were perching through windows to witness the procession.

Talking to Rising Kashmir Chief Patron of Ittihadul Muslimeen, Molvi Mohammad Abbas Ansari said: “Government used brute force against processionists. We had talked to the civil and police authorities. They had given a positive response but later we did not get information from them."

Ansari said police had meeting with National Conference on Monday regarding the procession but they didn't bother to inform the concerned people.

"We were given no information about the meeting and had no option but to bring out the procession," he said. "The Government has never responded to Court direction," he said.

Condemning the use of force against the procession, Ansari said: "It was an inhumane act against the peaceful mourners. Besides the government has not paid heed to the court orders.”

(Courtesy: Dailay Rising Kashmir)


Police Uses Massive Force on Peaceful Mourners

Srinagar, Jan 06,2009: Even as mourning processions were taken out in various parts of the valley today to pay homage to the martyrs of Karbala, the police and the paramilitary troopers used brutal and indiscriminate force to break up similar marches in the city centre, leaving hundreds of people injured.

Nearly two hundred mourners were arrested and dragged to police stations when they tried to overcome the police resistance.

Large contingents of the police and the paramilitary troops deployed in the centre of Srinagar fell mercilessly upon mourners as the latter tried to take out processions in memory of the martyrdom of the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), beating the marchers ruthlessly with canes.

The peaceful marchers tried to hold their ground by squatting on the roads, but the police rained heavy cane-blows on the unarmed mourners, leaving scores injured.

Mourners made several attempts to take out processions in the city centre, the venue of major Muharram gatherings in pre-militancy days, but were beaten back by the police and the para-military forces on each occasion, with scores of persons being arrested.

The president of the Ittihadul-Muslimeen, Maulana Masroor Abbas Ansari led a large number of people from various parts of the valley in a procession from the Exchange Road, but ran into a police blockade near the Women’s College.

The police unleashed indiscriminate force on the procession, breaking it up with severe cane-charges. A number of mourners, including their leader, Maulana Masroor, were injured in the onslaught.

Using cane-charges and tear gas, the police dispersed the procession forcibly and took a number of marchers into custody.

Clashes broke out again later when another procession issued out of the same area, with the police arresting over fifty mourners.

Maulana Masroor suffered a grave injury, and was admitted to the nearby Ghausia Hospital.

The police arrested over a 100 mourners on the occasion and locked them up in the Ram Munshi Bagh and Kothibagh police stations.

A large number of mourners, however, managed to break through the police resistance and marched towards Dalgate. But they encountered fresh police opposition near the JK Bank corporate headquarters, and had to face another ferocious round of lathi-charge, with a number of mourners being arrested again.         

Mourning processions in Muharram have been banned in the civil lines areas of Srinagar for the past 19 years, and large police contingents had been sent into Lal Chowk and adjacent areas to since Tuesday morning to enforce the restrictions.

Both factions of the Hurriyat Conference have condemned the use of force on Muharram processions, terming it as a serious violation of human rights. They have said that the police action amounts to a brazen display of anti-Muslim sentiments and Zionist mentality.

The Ittihadul Muslimeen, the Anjuman-e-Shara’ie, the Democratic Freedom Party, the Democratic Liberation Party of Hashim Qureshi, the National Front, the Salvation Movement, and senior Hurriyat (M) leader, Javed Ahmad Mir have termed the police action as interference in religious affairs.

(Courtesy: Dailay Kashmir Observer)


Mourners subjected to brute force in Srinagar

Srinagar, January,06,2009: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops subjected a Muharram procession to heavy lathi charge and excessive tear-gassing in Srinagar, this afternoon. Over eighty mourners were injured when Indian troops used brute force to disperse the procession at Budshah Chowk, which was marching towards Dalgate. Dozens of people including a religious scholar, Masroor Ansari were arrested.

The Chairman of All Parties Hurriyet Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and senior Hurriyet leader, Maulana Abbas Ansari in their statements condemned the incident terming it as a clear violation of people’s religious rights.

On the other hand, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Syed Ali Gilani and Muhammad Azam Inqalabi in their separate statements in Srinagar, today, paid rich tributes to over 50 Kashmiri martyrs who were shot dead by the occupation troops in Sopore on this day in 1993. The troops had also burnt down the entire market of the town reducing to ashes over 100 houses and 300 shops. The leaders emphasised that Indian state terrorism had totally failed to suppress Kashmiris’ just struggle for liberation, which was gaining momentum by every passing day.

 JKIM: First & largest Political Party of Kashmiri Shias

Copyright 2008-Ittihadul Muslimeen, Karanagar,Srinagar,Kashmir,190010