Curbs on Eid-e-Milad: Unprecedented: Dargah out of bounds
Srinagar, Nov 9:
Ahead of Eid-Milad-un-Nabi (peace be upon him) to be observed on Sunday,
authorities Saturday barred the congregation of people at the revered Dargah
Hazratbal shrine here.
development took place even as valley is facing a dual crisis – one triggered
by Thursday’s unseasonal snowfall that caused widespread damage across Kashmir
and two: by the situation triggered after the abrogation of Article 370 in
August this year.
morning, all roads leading to Hazratbal were barricaded with concertina wires
as police and paramilitary forces manned the entry and exit points near the
To mention, each
year over 50,000 people assemble at Dargah on Eid-e-Milad, the birth date of
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Most stay overnight to offer prayers and
supplications to Allah, in what is considered as one of the largest religious
gatherings in the valley.
offering prayers, the devotees stay put to have a glimpse of the holy relic of
the beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) that is displayed after each prayers at
the shrine on the occasion.
already announced imposition of section 144 on Saturday across the valley,
seemingly to maintain ‘law and order’ in view of the verdict in high-profile
Babri Masjid-Ayodhya case, which eventually went in favour of the construction
of Ram temple.
A police official
said that there was no curfew in any part of the city though restrictions under
section 144 CrPc were imposed in Srinagar as a precautionary measure.
have been deployed in strength to maintain law and order in the city,” he said.
situation on the ground was entirely different as all roads leading to the
shrine were closed with barbed wires.
forces personnel were directing people to take alternative routes to their
Only the people
living around the shrine were allowed to enter it.
They alleged that
no arrangements had been made for holding prayers in the shrine.
“Snow has not
been cleared from the field and the surrounding areas of the shrine, where
people used to gather for special night-long players. No arrangements,
including heating system, have been put in place for the occasion,” Nadim
Ahmad, a resident of Hazratbal, said over the phone.
resident of Hazratbal, said that throughout the day police were manning the
barricades and not allowing any outsiders towards the shrine.
“We used to have
thousands of people assembling here every year but today there is hardly
anyone. Just the locals,” he said.