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Restrictions in Srinagar over Muharram procession

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Srinagar: Restrictions were imposed in parts of Srinagar city while a curfew was imposed in Anantnag and Bijbehara towns in Jammu and Kashmir to contain a Shia Muharram procession, authorities said.

The restrictions were imposed in Abi Guzar and Lal Chowk areas here fearing an escalation of tension following Wednesday’s clashes.

Naseer Ahmad Dar, 25, was critically injured during clashes between a stone pelting mob and the security forces in Bijbehara town.

“In order to maintain law and order in the city, we have decided not to allow the Muharram procession today (Thursday),” a police officer told IANS.

Since the separatist violence started here in the early 1900s, authorities have been disallowing the 8th day Muharram procession in Srinagar city.

Senior separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq have been placed under house arrest here while Muhammad Yasin Malik was taken into preventive custody on Wednesday.

Malik had gone to find out the welfare of Dar, who is battling for life after being hit by a tear smoke shell on his forehead.

“He has been shifted to critical care unit of the hospital after surgery. His condition is continuously being monitored. He is still not out of danger,” an attending doctor told IANS on Thursday.

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Government ends Haj subsidy as part of a new policy

Announcing the decision, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said it was in line with the government's agenda to empower minorities without appeasing them.

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Recently, the central government decided to withdraw subsidy given to hundreds and thousands of Muslims for the annual Haj pilgrimage. Wikimedia Commons
Recently, the central government decided to withdraw subsidy given to hundreds and thousands of Muslims for the annual Haj pilgrimage. Wikimedia Commons
  • The government had drafted the policy after the Supreme Court asked it in 2012 to withdraw it gradually by 2022
  • The government would utilise the funds saved from withdrawing the subsidy for the education of minorities, particularly girls
  • This year, the highest number of Indian pilgrims are likely to go for the pilgrimage

The central government on Tuesday said it has decided to withdraw subsidy given to hundreds and thousands of Muslims for the annual Haj pilgrimage.

Announcing the decision, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said it was in line with the government’s agenda to empower minorities without appeasing them.

“This is part of our policy to empower minorities with dignity and without appeasement,” Naqvi told reporters here.

He said the government would utilise the funds saved from withdrawing the subsidy for the education of minorities, particularly girls.

Also Read: Muslim women can now travel to Haj without Mahram

The government had drafted the policy to abolish the Haj subsidy in a phased manner after the Supreme Court asked it in 2012 to withdraw it gradually by 2022.

This year, the highest number of Indian pilgrims are likely to go for the pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased India’s quota by 5,000.

A total of 1.75 lakh Indian Muslims can go for Haj this year. IANS

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Kashmir becomes a favourite again this New Year’s Eve

"It is just like the old times in Gulmarg. I cannot fully express my joy when I see the numbers of tourists here today," said Abdul Gaffar, a pony owner here.

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Kashmir. Pixabay
  • This new year starts with a bang for Tourism industry in Kashmi