Thousands participate in Ashoora procession
9 February 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Excelsior Special Correspondent
Srinagar: Scores of Alam, Tazia and Zuljanah processions were taken out in Kashmir valley today on occasion of the 10th Muharram (Ashoora)- martyrdom anniversary of Hazrat Imam Hussain and his associates at Karbala in Iraq over 1300 years ago. The largest Zuljanah procession came out in Jan Mohalla of Lal Bazar area at 1030 hours. Official as well as unofficial estimates put the number of the participants between 50,000 and 70,000. Shia mourners chanted hymns in praise of Prophet Mohammad and his grandson, Hazrat Imam Hussain, besides 72 martyrs of Karbala who had laid down their lives for protection of the faith. Several groups of the bare-footed mourners practiced self- flagellation and inflicted wounds over their own bodies while using sharp-edged knives. Others recited Nowha and Marsiya to pay tributes to the martyrs of Karbala. As blood spilled on the streets, the processions swelled and wending its way through different downtown localities it culminated into the Majlis-e-Shaam-e-Gareebaan at the historic Imambara of Zadibal late this evening. A number of Shia spiritual and political leaders participated in the Ashoora procession. Devotees were seen touching the profusely harnessed holy horse with reverence and passing the young children under it. The procession passed through Bota Kadal, Madeen Sahib, Shri Bhat, Alamgarhi Bazar and Zadibal. Another major procession was taken out at Imambara of Mirgund and after passing through the traditional 3- Km long route, it ended at the historic Imambara of Budgam this evening. Reports said that over 10,000 Shia devotees participated in the procession. Smaller Zuljanah processions were as usual taken out at Ichhigam, Chhatergam, Bemina, Iskandarpora, Sonpah, Labartal and Mulshulla in Budgam district, Dab Wakora, Pandraithan and Hassanabad in Srinagar district, Inderkoot Gadakhud, many villages in Pattan, Sultanpora, Kamalkot, Dhani Sayeedan and Qazipora in Baramulla district, Gongwa and Wakharwan in Pulwama district and Chhatergul, Sallar and Devsar in Anantnag district. Reports said that all of these processions passed off peacefully. Members of the Sunni Muslim community held indoor meetings at different mosques all over Kashmir valley to pay tributes to the martyrs of Karbala. A number of clergymen, including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, delivered sermons at these meetings and they dwelt in length on the philosophy of sacrifice and perseverance in Islam. At most of these places, authorities had made elaborate arrangements of medicare, milk, water and other services for the participants.