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Piety, brotherhood mark Eid; Protests in Kashmir

Last updated on: November 17, 2010 21:58 IST

Piety, brotherhood mark Eid; Protests in Kashmir

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Tens of thousands of faithful flocked to mosques to offer prayers as mass animal sacrifices, traditional piety and the spirit of brotherhood marked Muslim festival Eid-ul-Azha that was celebrated across the country on Wednesday.

With security forces keeping a hawk-eye vigil, the festivities passed off peacefully barring the Kashmir Valley where protesters fought pitched battles at some places with police who used force to restore calm.

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Image: Muslims offer prayers at Dharavi in Mumbai
Photographs: Sahil Salvi
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Muslims rededicated themselves to Islamic tenets of love and piety to mark the Festival of Sacrifice or Bakr-Eid, which commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God.

Thousands of sheep and goats were sacrificed as people distributed the meat among neighbours and relatives on the pious occasion.


Image: Muslims offer prayers at suburban Bandra in Mumbai
Photographs: Sahil Salvi
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The goats, which were sold, fetched substantial amounts depending on the weight and holy signs.

Clerics and community leaders delivered sermons on the occasion of the auspicious festival, which occurs the day after pilgrims conducting Haj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia by Muslims worldwide, descend from Mount Arafat.

It happens to be approximately 70 days after the end of the month of Ramadan.


Image: Muslims perform the Eid al-Adha prayers at the Jama Masjid in Old Delhi
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters
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Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, his Cabinet colleagues and over 3,000 devotees offered prayers at Eidgah in Jammu as protests erupted at several places in summer capital Srinagar.

Soon after the prayers, protesters, chanting slogans, poured on the streets and clashed with security forces at some places.




Image: Muslims perform the Eid al-Adha prayers at the Jama Masjid in Old Delhi
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters
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A mob set ablaze a police vehicle in Anantnag as youths hurled stones at security forces who chased them and used force to restore peace.

Several separatist leaders including chairmen of both factions of the Hurriyat Conference -- Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Shah Geelani -- were placed under house arrest.

The celebrations were sombre in the Valley in view of the killing of a number of people during the recent unrest.



Image: Kashmiri women offer prayers during the Eid al-Adha festival in Srinagar
Photographs: Danish Ismail/Reuters
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Indian and Pakistani border guards offered sweets and fruits to each other, shook hands and exchanged pleasantries at the Attari border on the occasion.

In Kerala, Imams, in their address, said extremists and fundamentalist trends posed a danger to humanity and urged the faithful to guard against them by following principles of love, compassion and kindness as preached by Islam.


Image: A Kashmiri woman weeps as she offers prayers during the Eid al-Adha festival in Srinagar
Photographs: Danish Ismail/Reuters
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The President, the Vice-President, the Prime Minister and a host of leaders greeted the countrymen on the occasion hoping the festival would promote the feeling of love and compassion among them.



Image: Muslims perform the Eid al-Adha prayers at the ruins of the Feroz Shah Kotla mosque in New Delhi
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters
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