J&K: 2 booked for raising ‘Azadi’ slogans in Muharram procession in Srinagar

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Abid Bashir

Srinagar (NVI): Jammu and Kashmir police today said that it has booked two persons in Srinagar under sedition law after they were found involved in raising pro-freedom slogans during a Muharram procession here.

The search for a few others is underway who will also be booked under the same charges, police said.

They said that after assessing the contents of a video on social media, some Shia mourners were found raising pro-Azadi slogans in a mourning procession taken out in connection with Muharram at Parimpora area of Srinagar.

“The police station Parimpora took cognizance and identified the location near Hokersar, Nowpora Bund. The area is isolated and there was no history of organising any such unlawful gathering before, neither was there input of any gathering/procession nor was there any police presence, as the area is far from main Imambara,” a police spokesman said.

“It has been revealed that some boys from the adjoining area of Budgam led by three persons- Sajad Hussain Parray, Arif Ahmad Dar and Raja Mehboob took advantage of the area and assembled here and raised pro Azadi slogans.”

The police spokesman said that in this regard, a formal case has been registered against the above accused.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Srinagar Haseeb Mughal said that midnight raids were conducted in which two persons have been arrested and further arrests are expected in the case while the investigation is going on. “Other persons have been identified and they will be arrested soon,” Mughal added.

It is pertinent to mention here that major Muharram processions in Srinagar are banned since 1989 as the authorities fear that allowing such activities may turn into a massive law and order situation.

The authorities have, however, allowed Muharram processions in the Shia majority areas that remain confined to a particular area only. This year, a major Shia body, Anjuman-e-Shar-e-Shian had announced that there would be no Muharram procession in view of the global Covid-19 pandemic.