"Peaceful rally targeted"; Azad joins devotees in prayers at Hazratbal shrine
SRINAGAR: At least 75 persons were taken into preventive custody on Tuesday, when Milad processions were taken out here to mark the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammed.
The separatist Democratic Political Movement (DPM) and its youth wing alleged that the police beat up 61of their activists while they were taking out a traditional procession peacefully.
Another procession led by the Islamic Students League leader Shakeel Bakshi from Maisuma ended peacefully at Nowhatta on reaching the shrine of Khwaja Naqshband Saheb. Raising pro-Islam slogans, hundreds of people participated in the procession.
All religious processions have been banned here since the outbreak of militant activity. However, permission was granted for Tuesday's processions after people approached government officials.
DPM leader Mohammad Shafi Reshi said, "We formally approached the Deputy Commissioner and sought no-objection certificates from the SSP of Srinagar but despite this our men were cane-charged and arrested."
Among the arrested were DPM chairman Firdous Ahmad Shah and 60 other activists.
Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, along with lakhs of devotees, offered prayers at the Hazratbal shrine on the eve of Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi. He also joined the public on the lawns of Hazratbal to get a glimpse of the holy relic of Prophet Muhammed.
This is the first time in 20 years that a Chief Minister has mingled with other devotees on the Hazratbal lawns.
Prayers all over State
At various other shrines and mosques across Jammu and Kashmir, devotees offered prayers.