Srinagar : Parts of Kashmir today saw clashes between stone-pelting mobs and police as strict restrictions were imposed in view of Muharram and the fourth day ceremony of trucker Zahid who died in the Udhampur attack.
Authorities scuttled the plans of the separatist leaders to visit Batengoo village in Anantnag to hold condolence meetings for Zahid by putting under house arrest or detaining them, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani of hardline Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq of moderate Hurriyat, Shabir Shah of Democratic Freedom Party and Yasin Malik of JKLF.
Attempts to take out Muharram processions in various parts of Kashmir, mainly in Srinagar, were also thwarted, resulting in clashes.
Authorities had imposed strict restrictions on the movement of people in various parts of Srinagar and the roads leading to Zahid’s Batengoo village as they apprehended a law and order problem in view of the proposed public meeting in Anantnag and attempts by Shia mourners to take out a procession through the traditional route in Srinagar to mark Muharram.
Geelani-led Hurriyat had planned to organise a condolence meeting at Batengoo and had appealed to the people to attend it to mark the fourth day ceremony of the deceased, who succumbed to injuries sustained in the October 9 attack.
Concertina wires were laid at various city routes in and around the city centre, Lal Chowk, and all routes leading to Anantnag, blocking the passage of vehicles.
Lal Chowk and surrounding areas were put off limits for people to prevent the Shia community from taking out the Muharram procession. Police did not allow any vehicle to enter the city centre as a preventive measure.
Authorities had imposed restrictions in areas falling under police stations Maisuma, Shaheedgunj, Karan Nagar, Batamaloo, Shergarhi and Ram Munshi Bagh in Srinagar.
The traditional Muharram procession used to pass through these areas but have been banned since the eruption of militancy in 1990 as authorities maintain that the religious gathering has been used for propagating separatist politics.