SRINAGAR: Thousands of policemen and paramilitary troopers restricted public movement and traffic in various parts of the city on Saturday to ensure that no anti-India protests coincided with Ashura processions.
Most areas of old Srinagar city witnessed a curfew-like situation. The police and troopers had sealed strategic spots in all major roads of these areas with concertina wire.
Since 1990, when the armed struggle against Indian rule began, the government has banned Ashura procession along the traditional Abi Guzar-Zadibal route.
Several people, including Shia mourners and activists of Geelani-led Hurriyat Conference, were detained by the police on Saturday when they tried to take out a procession along this route. They were held at Kothibagh police station.
However, big and small Ashura processions were taken out in various parts of the Valley to observe the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and 72 martyrs at Karbala (Iraq).
Thousands of mourners participated in the procession, which passed through several localities including Lal Bazar, Bagwanpora, Bota Kadal and Hawal before culminating into the ‘Majlis-e-Shaam-e-Gareeban’ at the historic Zadibal Imambara. It was the largest Zuljanah procession in Valley.
People, especially from Sunni sect, were also seen offering refreshments to the mourners.
The second major procession started from Imambara of Mirgund, which after passing through various lanes and by-lanes, ended at the Imambara of Budgam.
A large procession was also taken from Babapora Magam, which ended at Ahmadpora in Budgam.
Reports of Zuljinnah and Alam processions were also received from Dab Wakora (Ganderbal), Pandraithan and Hassanabad in Srinagar, Pattan, Qazipora in Baramulla district, Gongwa, Wakharwan, Chhatergul, Sallar and Devsar in South Kashmir.
At several places in the Valley, groups of mourners, most of them bare-footed, were seen flagellating themselves with sharp-edged blades and knives. The mourners were provided immediate first-aid by medical teams deputed by the state administrations.
Many mourners were seen striking their chest and head with hands while reciting Nowha and Marsiya to pay homage to the Karbala martyrs.
Ashura processions in Jammu passed through Lakhadata Bazar, Kanak Mandi, Rajinder Bazar and Shaheedi Chowk.
In Leh and Kargil, thousands of mourners participated in Taziya processions.