Using pellets on Muharram processions a new low: NC

National Conference on Monday expressed outrage over the indiscriminate use of pellets on mourners observing Youm-e-Ashura.

In a statement, party’s provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani said the “brutality on mourners in terms of arrests, torture, raining of pellets and baton charging” is unacceptable and that the party unequivocally condemns it.

“Denying people to peacefully perform religious activities is a new low which unfortunately has become a new normal in J&K. The administration was already aware about the holy month of Muharram. On that account it was supposed to chalk out a programme with different religious groups, try to bring them onboard to ensure necessary safety measures in view of the prevailing pandemic situation. Despite the barbarism of police, the mourners didn’t indulge in any violent act,” said Wani

He said actions like these were a question mark on the government’s assertion on zero tolerance for human rights violations.

“Use of pellet guns, canes, teargas shells against mourners shows how heartless the civil administration and police is. The brutality has left several mourners injured, some of whom have incurred fatal injuries on their vital parts. Even journalists and scribes were heckled and baton charged,” said Wani.

He maintained that inter sectarian bonhomie has been a cultural mainstay of Kashmir and that people of Kashmir have never allowed such divisive forces to break unity.

“We demand through action against those elements who are trying to give the incident a sectarian color. Such elements should be unmasked, named and shamed. There is no place for such elements in our society. Our party demands a strong action against such mischievous elements,” he said.

Wani also expressed outrage at the heckling of journalists by security forces and police, saying such actions on part of the government present a wrong picture of the country internationally.

Meanwhile, he flabbergasted the government inaction to rise up to the exigencies after recent torrential rains that lashed parts of the valley for several days.

Expressing dismay over the attitude of the administration, Wani said that recent downpour has resulted in inundation of several low-lying areas in Amira Kadal and other adjoining localities causing immense trouble to people on different accounts.