Police fires pellet and teargas on Muharram procession in Srinagar, 40 Injured

wilayattimes (Jammu and Kashmir)

Srinagar | WTNS | August 29:Dozens of mourners were injured on Saturday when government forces used shotgun pellets and tear gas to disperse processions in capital city, during which several youth were detained and many, including women allegedly ‘thrashed’ by the forces,witnesses have said.

After noon prayers, scores of mourners took out a peaceful Muharram procession from Hamdania Colony in Bemina area of Srinagar.The procession was peaceful and mourners were following heath protocols, witnesses told Wilayat Times that procession passed through different localities before reaching Gari Kadal Khomeini Chowk, where a heavy number of policemen stopped them and prevented the procession to move towards Imam Bargah Bemina.

Shamim Hussaini, a witness, told Wilayat Times that the procession started in the Bemina area on the outskirts of the main city of Srinagar and that government forces were present in heavy numbers.

Shamim and other people who saw the clashes said security forces fired pellets and tear gas to break up the gathering. Police said mourners violated prohibitory orders that restrict all religious processions to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

At least 40 people were injured, according to witnesses. Medical workers at a hospital in Srinagar told AP they treated at least 30 people, some of them with pellet and tear gas injuries.

Residents said many other injured were taken to another hospital in the city.

Videos circulating on social media showed police in armed vehicles warning the mourners to disperse before firing shotgun pellets and tear gas on them.

An official from the Imam Hussain (A.S) Hospital told  that they received more than 30 injured mourners.

“Most of them are badly hit. They are hit in the eyes, some have been hit in the legs with shells,” the official said.

“More than 10 people were critically injured and it seems impossible that they will be able to see ever again,” the official added.

Scores of other injured mourners were treated at SMHS hospital.

Police in Kashmir broke up several Muharram processions this week.

Officials said at least 200 people were detained in Srinagar for participating in the processions and over the last week, seven individuals have been booked under the controversial Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for their alleged involvement in raising anti-India and “pro-azaadi” slogans at a Muharram procession in Srinagar.