Alwaght- Police in Indian-Controlled Kashmir have attacked Shiite Muslims taking part in an annual Muharram mourning procession.
Shiite Muslims held a mourning procession in Kashmir’s Srinagar on Friday, chanting religious slogans. Police attacked the mourners and arrested an unspecified number of them.
The first ten days of Muharram, the month of the Islamic Hijri calendar, mark the martyrdom of the third Shiite Imam and the grandson of Prophet Mohammad SAW, Imam Hussein AS, in 680 AD in a battle with the tyrant of the time. The tenth day of Muharram, known as Ashura, marks the day when Imam Hussein was martyred with 72 of his loyal companions.
The historic event's message of resistance and rising up against tyranny has been key to the evolution of a culture which rejects abjection at any rate.
Reports say authorities in Kashmir imposed restrictions in some parts of Srinagar, fearing religious processions marking Muharram would turn into anti-India demonstrations. There was heavy deployments of police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in full riot gear were made in the restricted areas.
Tensions are high in the Indian-controlled region, where the Muslim-majority population stages regular protests against the Indian rule and demands autonomy from New Delhi.
India regularly accuses Pakistan of arming and training militants and allowing them across the restive frontier in an attempt to launch attacks on Indian forces. Pakistan strongly denies the allegations. The two countries have fought three wars over the disputed territory. Despite a ceasefire agreement that was reached in November 2003, sporadic skirmishes continue in Kashmir.
Muslim-majority Kashmir has been divided since the partition of British colonial India into the dominion states of India and Pakistan in 1947. China also holds a small parcel of land.
The conflict in Indian-controlled Kashmir is basically a struggle for self-determination with residents of the region demanding a plebiscite while India rejects the call.