Two dozen mourners injured as police use force to stop Muharram processions in Kashmir

Our men too received injuries: SSP Srinagar
Two dozen mourners injured as police use force to stop Muharram processions in Kashmir
GK File Pic ---Habib Naqash/GK

About two dozen mourners were injured, at least two with pellets, in Zadibal area of Srinagar after police used force on the Muharram processions.

Reports said that police resorted to tear gas shelling and fired pellets on the mourners who in turn clashed with the police. About two dozen mourners received injuries in police action, two youth received pellet injuries.

The authorities imposed restrictions and blocked the roads to stop processions in some parts of the valley.

Several main Muharram processions have been banned by the government in Kashmir since 1990.

The clashes started after police deployed in huge numbers in Zadibal tried to stop a large procession. The mourners in turn clashed with the police who restored to tear gas shelling and fired pellets. The police also lathi-charged the mourners.

IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar and SSP Srinagar Dr Haseeb Mughal visited the area.

"Our men too have received injuries and processions were not allowed," Dr Haseeb told the Greater Kashmir. "Some people might have received minor injuries."

Reports said that police used force on several other mourning processions in Kashmir. Scores of mourners have also been taken into custody.

Medical Superintendent SMHS Hospital, Dr Nazir Choudhary, said that one mourner with pellet injury was brought to the hospital on Sunday. "Three pellet victims who were injured yesterday are admitted in the hospital, besides today's one," he said adding that no other injured reported to the hospital.

Security forces on Saturday fired shotgun pellets and tear gas to disperse hundreds of mourners in a Muharram procession in Bemina and some other place, injuring many.

Aga Syed Hassan Almosvi Alsafvi, president of Anjuman-e-Sharie-Shian, said he is under detention for last 13 months. "We have asked the people to follow SOPs in wake of the pandemic," he told the Greater Kashmir. "We have also asked them to remain peaceful."

POLICE STATEMENT

Police spokesperson in a statement said: "In Srinagar Muharram processions were taken out at dozens of places and at some places they resorted to stone pelting  when they were asked that processions are not allowed in this Covid-19 Pandemic."

"Most the such processions retracted peacefully but at few places they started pushing Police deployments and even resorted to stone pelting. During intense stone pelting more than 15 police personnel were grievously injured, who were immediately hospitalised. The police has exercised maximum restraint despite grave provocation by the miscreants. Despite violating the COVID-19 protocols and Government advisories, the mourners assembled in processions at dozens of places across Srinagar. Police has been guarding and securing Imambaras for around 10 days now. Making deployments 24×7 to ensure peaceful conduct of Majalis," the statement said.

'But despite all that Police was made to face violence and stone pelting. Under these testing times also Police has used only mild force to ensure their dispersal, showing maximum restraint. In this regard an FIR 58/2020 under relevant sections of law stands registered in PS Zadibal and investigation taken up," it added.

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