Friday, April 6, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Curfew in Ajmer after communal violence
New Delhi, April 5
Curfew was clamped in Ajmer district of Rajasthan following communal violence and the police used force to stop a procession in Srinagar as Muharram, commemorating the martyrdom of Hazrat Ismail Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed, was observed with solemnity across the country today. Devout Muslims beat their chests with bare hands and iron chains, embedded with shards of glass, and took out Alam and Tazia processions to mark the 10th day of Muharram, the first month of the new year according to the Islamic calendar. The chest-beating mourners chanting “ya Hassan, ya Hassan” were joined by Hindus at many places. Many participated in the annual public self-flagellation ceremony or “matam”. Prayers were offered in mosques in remembrance of the immortal sacrifice of Prophet Ismail and 74 other followers who met their end when the army of then tyrant Yazeed attacked them for failing to accept his rule 1,400 years ago. Curfew was clamped on Nasirabad town of Rajasthan’s Ajmer district after eruption of communal violence over the route of Tazia procession, the police said. Members of the two communities hurled stones and set vehicles and shops on fire prompting the authorities to clamp the curfew.

Sacrilege in Barnala
Sangrur, April 5
In yet another act of sacrilege in Punjab, miscreants broke some idols in a Shiva temple in Shaihna near Barnala town last night. Residents reported to the police today that idols, plates on which the names of the idols were inscribed, and other sacred material kept in the temple premises had been vandalised. They added that miscreants may have come during the night and escaped under the cover of darkness after committing the crime. The police said the situation was “well under control and the hunt had been launched to arrest the culprits.” Local religious bodies have condemned the incident and urged the people to maintain communal harmony. UNI

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