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PIX: Muharram procession in Srinagar turns violent; 5 injured

Last updated on: December 4, 2011 20:35 IST

Muharram procession in Srinagar turns violent; 5 injured

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar

Violence erupted in summer capital Srinagar as Shia youth defied security restrictions and resorted to heavy stone pelting on the security forces during a Muharram procession on Sunday, reports Mukhtar Ahmad

Authorities had imposed restrictions in parts of capital Srinagar to foil a traditional Shia Muharram procession.

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Image: Kashmiri youth clashed with security forces during a Muharram procession in Srinagar on Sunday
Photographs: Umar Ganie
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Muharram procession in Srinagar turns violent; 5 injured

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Sunday's procession was scheduled to begin from the Gurubazzar locality of uptown Srinagar in the afternoon and was to culminate at Dalgate after passing through the city centre, Lal Chowk.

Several hundred Shia youth, however, appeared in Jehangir  Chowk in uptown Srinagar late on Sunday afternoon and tried to takeout the procession.


Image: Violence erupted in Srinagar when Shia youth defied security restricts on Sunday
Photographs: Umar Ganie
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Muharram procession in Srinagar turns violent; 5 injured

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However, they were intercepted by the police upon which the Shia youth indulged in heavy stone pelting.

The police initially used baton charges to disperse the march, but later shelled tear smoke as the youth indulged in heavy stone pelting.


Image: Security forces detained some stone pelting youth in Srinagar
Photographs: Umar Ganie
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Muharram procession in Srinagar turns violent; 5 injured

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In the adjoining areas also youth pelted stones at the police.

Police sources said five Shia youth were injured while nearly two dozen others were detained.


Image: Security forces later shelled tear smoke as the youth indulged in heavy stone pelting
Photographs: Umar Ganie
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Muharram procession in Srinagar turns violent; 5 injured

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However, in some parts of the city interior, authorities allowed small Muharram processions.

Early on Sunday morning authorities deployed police and paramilitary Central Reserved Police Force personnel in riot gear to enforce restrictions in the areas falling under the three police stations of Shaheedgunj, Maisuma and Kothibagh.


Image: Police sources said five Shia youth were injured while nearly two dozen others were detained
Photographs: Umar Ganie
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Muharram procession in Srinagar turns violent; 5 injured

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No movement was allowed in the city centre Lal Chowk and road intersections were barricaded using coils of razor fitted wire.

A senior police officer said restrictions were imposed as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order in the capital city.


Image: Heavy restrictions were imposed in Srinagar on Sunday morning ahead of the Muharram procession
Photographs: Umar Ganie
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Muharram procession in Srinagar turns violent; 5 injured

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Authorities have been disallowing the traditional march on the eighth day of Muharram since the outbreak of militancy in the Kashmir Valley in early 1990.

Authorities may also disallow the larger Muharram procession scheduled in Srinagar on Tuesday, sources said.


Image: A senior police officer said restrictions were imposed as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order
Photographs: Umar Ganie
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