Srinagar: While many parts of the Valley were tense because of restrictions on Muharram processions—many mourners were also beaten—scores of people, chief minister and his cabinet colleagues among them, witnessed Dusshera celebrations at the TRC Ground.
Effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhkarana and son Meghnad were set ablaze while firecrackers were burst at the ground to mark the festival.
Among the spectators were CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, his advisor Prof Amitabh Mattoo, ministers Haseeb A. Drabu, Naeem Akhtar,Sunil Kumar Sharma and PDP MLC Khurshid Alam.
According to Hindu mythology, this festival symbolises triumph of good over evil and it marks the culmination of the nine-day long Navratri festival.
Three huge effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Meghnath were put up at the TRC ground by the organizers, Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti. Hundreds of people, mainly Muslims, watched to see effigies of the demons go down. Many recorded the events in their mobile phones.
“Irrespective of political aspirations which are of different without any doubt, our Muslim brethren have wholeheartedly supported us since 2007. It seemed as if there is nothing bad in Kashmir today even as you know what is happening in Anantnag (curfew) and adjacent to this venue (Lal Chowk where restrictions were imposed on Muharram mourners),” Sanjay Tickoo, president of the Pandit body, told reporters after the effigies were burnt.”
Tight security arrangements were put in place by the police and the CRPF at the venue for smooth conduct of the show.
It was after two decades in 2007 that Dussehra was celebrated in the Valley.
However, it could not be celebrated the next year because of the mass uprising triggered by the government order to transfer 800 kanals of forestland to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board.
While the Pandit body organized it again in 2009, it couldn’t do it in 2010 because of the mass anti-India uprising, in which 128 unarmed protesters were killed by the forces.