Srinagar: Shi`ite Muslims staged a protest demonstration against the ban on their processions on ‘Ashura’ the 10th day of the Muharram month in the Islamic calendar in Srinagar on Sunday.
The demonstrators, under the banner of the Jammu and Kashmir Anjuman Sharay Shia (Shi``ite Religious Party), marched through the streets, condemning the repression of their religious rights.
“The procession of 10th (Ashura day of Muharram) has been banned since 22 years. We are condemning this state terror. This is state ordered terrorism. Our religious rights are oppressed by Indian agencies. Police are stopping (us) and using force against Hussaini followers and we will defy every action of this kind,” said Murtaza Hussain Abbasi, an Anjuman Sharay Shia leader.
During the Islamic month of Muharram, Shi``ites across the world mourn the death of the Prophet Mohammad``s grandson Imam Hussein in the Iraqi city of Kerbala in the year 680.
But in Kashmir, Muharram processions and public gatherings by separatists have been banned since a rebellion against Indian rule broke out in 1989.