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Govt likely to allow 8th Muharram procession in Kashmir capital Srinagar

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The government in Jammu Kashmir is mulling to allow the traditional 8th Muharram procession that remains banned since the onset of militancy in the erstwhile state in the early 90’s.

Reliable sources told the news agency Kashmir News Trust that the first round of meetings between the Shia leaders and Divisional Administration Kashmir ended on a positive note and there is every possibility that the district administration of Srinagar will not impose any restrictions on the 8th Muharram procession.

They said some officers in the Divisional Administration are keen to allow the traditional 8th Muharram procession from Shaheed Ganj to Dalgate.

One of the Shia leaders who was part of the meeting said that the first round was successful and another meeting will take place in a day or two.

He said that Government may also allow the Ashoora procession if everything culminates peacefully on the 8th Muharram.

The two major processions of 8th and 10th Muharram were banned in 1989 by the then Governor Jagmohan after militancy broke out in the Valley. Only small mourning rallies and processions are allowed in a few areas with a sizeable Shia population.

When contacted a top official on condition of anonymity said that a decision in this regard will be taken in the coming days. He said it will be surreal to comment on the issue.

Meanwhile, Srinagar Mayor Junaid Azam Mattu appealed to the government to allow Muharram processions on traditional routes. “If there is normalcy then why restrict these processions? We know there is normalcy and this time mourners will be allowed to take out processions,” he said. [KNT]


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