Muslims observe Ashura in Kashmir

Even as the government authorities imposed stringent restrictions in Kashmir's capital city Srinagar to prevent Shia Muslims from commemorating Ashura, mourning processions were held across Indian-Controlled Kashmir, the only Muslim state in India. The processions saw thousands of people, cutting across sects, marching together in unison and paying tribute to the martyrs of Karbala.

The mourners poured into the streets, reciting soul-stirring elegies and hymns and beating their chest in a spirit of devotion. 

Ashura marks the 10th day of the month of Muharram in the Islamic calendar when Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), was martyred in the desert plains of Karbala in Iraq along with his family and companions 14 centuries ago. 

Like in other parts of the world, Muslims in Kashmir commemorate the sacrifice each year with tremendous religious fervor. 

Ashura is also a symbol of Islamic unity and tolerance in Kashmir. Muslims, cutting across sects and ideologies, take part in the commemoration ceremonies. 

Meanwhile dozens of mourners were arrested in Srinagar as authorities prevented Shia Muslims from holding Ashura procession, which has been banned by authorities since 1989. 

The mourners who have gathered here to pay tribute to the martyrs of Karbala bear testimony that the movement started by Imam Hussain 14 centuries ago continues to inspire the campaigners of truth and justice the worldwide.