Violence marred Muharram processions on Saturday leaving one person dead and at least 12 injured in Jharkhand and Bihar while stone-pelting over use of a route for procession in Gwalior led to curfew in the area even as the observance passed off peacefully elsewhere.
Clashes broke out during a procession in Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh district prompting police to fire 70 rounds in the air to control the situation.
Deputy inspector general of North Chotonagpur Division Upendra Kumar said trouble began when a group of about 100 people standing on the road opposite the ground at Charowa Das on Hazaribagh-Katkumsandi road, pelted stones at an over 10,000-strong gathering.
Hazaribagh Deputy Commissioner Mukesh Kumar said about 22 taziyas from nearby villages and Hazaribagh town had assembled to take part in the procession.
The clashing sides indulged in heavy brickbatting and then fired at each other forcing the police to first baton charge and then burst teargas shells. But when the actions failed to disperse the mob, the police fired at least 70 rounds in the air, said Kumar, adding one person was killed and nine injured in the violence.
In Madhubani in Bihar, three persons were injured in a clash between members of two communities when a stone was hurled on a taziya procession. Superintendent of Police Akhtar Hussain said the clash took place near Gandhi Chowk.
The religious fervour was marred in Gwalior, where curfew was imposed in a locality following protest by an organisation over the route of Muharram procession.
The organisation was protesting after a dispute about the procession route on Friday night. Stone-pelting was also reported in the area, following which the curfew was imposed around 4.30 pm.
On this day, Muslims remember Prophet Mohammed’s grandson Imam Hussein who died fighting the forces of caliph Yazid around 1,400 years ago at Karbala in Iraq.
In Uttar Pradesh, stray incidents were reported from Kushinagar and Jaunpur districts following disputes over minor issues but timely intervention by police prevented any ugly situation.
In capital Lucknow, taziya processions were taken out amid tight security arrangements. Over 20 companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary and Rapid Action Force were deployed in Lucknow at the routes identified for the procession.
In the national capital, several taziya processions were taken out. Most of these processions culminated at Karbala in Jor Bagh in south Delhi.
In some parts of Srinagar, curfew-like restrictions were imposed to maintain law and order as taziya processions ended peacefully with the highest congregation of over 40,000 mourners from various parts assembling at Imambada Zadibal.
Braving rains, senior religious and political leaders of the community also took part in the processions. However, the authorities did not allow the procession from the traditional route -- Abi Guzar in the heart of Srinagar.