New Delhi, Dec 6: Muslims today observed Muharram by taking out taziya processions, flagellating themselves and offering special prayers but the day of mourning witnessed clashes in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar resulting in injury to over 30 people.
Slogans of “Ya Hussein” rend the air as Shias took part in the ceremonial mourning commemorating the martyrdom of Prophet Mohammed's grandson Imam Hussein with flags and replicas of Hussein's tomb in their hands. Sunnis offered prayers, observed fasts and distributed alms on the occasion. But the religious fervour was marred by few clashes.
Police fired in the air when two groups clashed with sharp weapons and 21 people, including six policemen, were injured during a procession at Ganga Vihar village in Bihar's Gaya district.
Gaya SP Satyaveer Singh said police fired 10 rounds in the air but none was injured. The two groups had attacked each other with swords, spears and other sharp weapons and threw stones injuring 15 people from both sides, he said, adding when policemen rushed to control the situation they were also attacked and six of them were hurt.
In another clash in the state, four policemen were injured in heavy brickbatting by rival groups during a tazia procession at Hiramma village in Sheohar district.
In Chandauli district of Uttar Pradesh, as many as six policemen and journalists were injured and around a dozen houses set ablaze following a clash during a procession in Malokhar village, police said.
Police and PAC personnel have been deployed in and around the area where the situation is now under control, they said. In Agra, mourners protested after Tazia got stuck under steal girders near a railway bridge in Freeganj-Biraganj area. The girders were temporarily removed after the protest.
Several taziya processions were taken out in the national capital and in its satellite towns. Most of the processions culminated at Karbala in Jor Bagh in south Delhi.
On this day, Muslims remember Hussein who died fighting the forces of caliph Yazid around 1,400 years ago at Karbala in Iraq.
In Jammu and Kashmir, restrictions were imposed in parts of Srinagar to prevent mourners from taking out a procession in and around the city's commercial centre Lal Chowk.
Large number of security personnel were deployed at all the entry points leading to Lal Chowk to prevent the mourners to take out processions.
DGP Kuldeep Khoda said these were not curfew restrictions but imposed largely to ensure peaceful gathering of people and smooth conduct of Muharram processions.
On Sunday, police had prevented a procession of mourners near Jehangir Chowk, which led to clashes in which at least 10 people, including a policeman, were injured.