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Muslims mark Ashura in Kashmir after police crackdown

Shahana Butt
Press TV, Indian-controlled Kashmir

In the Shia-dominated regions of Indian-administered Kashmir, tens of thousands of Muslims have participated in the mourning processions held in memory of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad.

Imam Hussein and his companions were massacred in the Battlefield of Karbala by Yazid and his evil cronies on the 10th day of Muharram, marking the day of Ashura.

Imam Hussein fought Yazid to withhold and carry forward the Islamic values and tradition some 1400 years ago.

And to carry forward Imam Hussein's legacy, centuries after the Battle of Karbala, Imam Hussein's martyrdom is commemorated across the globe.

Young and old clad in black take part in the solemn Ashura processions, chanting pro-Islamic slogans (‘Ya Hussein’) and beating their chests. With the resonating sound of chest-beating and eyes full of tears, people reiterate their pledge to fight the evil within and outside.

Each year people organize processions, debates and lectures during the holy month of Muharram to pass the teachings of ‘Imam Hussein’s uprising’ to the younger generation.

Here in Kashmir, the government has confined the Muharram processions to the Shia-dominated areas by imposing a ban for more than three decades. The Indian government administering Kashmir believes mourning processions may give vent to anti-India sentiment running deep in the region.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Muharram processions were dealt with force, using tear gas and pellet shots to disperse the mourners. Scores of mourners were injured and many have been detained by the government forces.

Religious scholars say at present, Karbala is a metaphor for resistance and tragedy. The ceremonies held during the holy month of Muharram, year after year, reinforce integrity and resilience in the face of oppression.

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