Eid-ul-Azha celebrated across Kashmir

Eid-ul-Azha celebrated across Kashmir

27 October 2012
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: Barring clashes in Eidgah area of Srinagar city where two months ago a police vehicle was set afire by a mob after Eid-ul-Fitr prayers, Eid-ul-Azha passed off peacefully across Kashmir valley despite protest call given by hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani. The biggest Eid congregations were held at Eidgah and Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar where thousands of people offered prayers. Similar congregations were held at district headquarters across Kashmir valley. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah alongwith around 30, 000 people offered prayers at Hazratbal shrine, while Union Minister for Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah joined the congregation at the Syed Yagoob Sahab shrine in Sonawar area of Srinagar near his residence. Omar prayed for peace and prosperity of the State and the country at the Hazratbal. He exchanged Eid greeting with the people at Hazratbal soon after the prayers. As the hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani had called for token protests after Eid prayers against the landing of Army in Kashmir on this day in 1947, authorities placed almost the entire separatist leadership under house arrest as a precautionary measure on the occasion of Eidul Azha. Security was also tightened at sensitive places to avoid any clashes. Geelani, moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik and Democratic Freedom Party president Shabir Ahmad Shah were among those placed under house arrest. Police feared that these leaders may lead the protests at several places to create law and order problems. Eid-ul-Azha celebrations across Kashmir remained peaceful. However, soon after the Eid prayers, protesters pelted stones on the CRPF at Sekidafar near Eidgah resulting in clashes. The CRPF charged batons and fire tearshells to disperse the protesters. Three protesters and a passerby woman were injured in the clashes. The woman was hit by a stone and was removed to hospital where she was given first aid and discharged later. Last time in August on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr a police vehicle was set ablaze by a mob at the same places after clashes broke out between police and protesters. The police men traveling the vehicle had close shave as they were ruthlessly beaten up by the mob. However, later police arrested those who set ablaze the vehicle and they were sent to Central Jail, Srinagar. After the prayers, people in Srinagar and other places remained busy in offering sacrifices of the animals and visiting their relatives and friends to share the meat of the sacrificial animals. An official statement released here this evening said scores of people visited Chief Minister's residence here to personally convey their Eid greetings. 'The Chief Minister reciprocated and shared their felicitation', the statement added. The official statement said that those who visited Chief Minister's residence included Ministers, Legislators, Public Representatives, Government Officers, Advocates, Media persons, Prominent Citizens, Political Activists, Students and Common People. 'Omar received them warmly and wished them well, prosperity and good health, the statement added.