Scores of people mostly Shia Muslims were injured on Saturday when occupation forces dispersed a Muharram procession with pellet guns in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), eye witnesses said.
Nazir Ahmad, an eye witness, said hundreds of mourners were marching near the Hamadania Colony on the outskirts of the capital Srinagar as part of the procession to mark the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (RA), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
"But some youths shouted pro-freedom slogans. Police charged at us with teargas and pellets.
"Many were injured and some taken to hospital," he said.
Six of the mourners with pellet injuries were brought to the city’s largest Sri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital, Dr Nazir Choudhary, medical superintendent of the hospital, told Anadolu Agency.
“Three have pellet injuries in the eye. Doctors are assessing the severity of their injuries,” he said.
Prominent Shia leader Imran Reza Ansari tweeted: “Want to ask the [Occupied] Jammu and Kashmir Admin if permission was granted for peaceful procession with Covid-19 SOPs why were the mourners of Imam Hussain beaten up brutally.”
He also tweeted a picture of an injured mourner on a hospital bed whose abdomen is covered with blood.
During the past week, police used baton or teargas canisters to disperse mourners in a few smaller processions in various parts of Srinagar, eyewitnesses said.
On Thursday, a police spokesperson said three men were booked under an anti-terror law after a video surfaced in which people were shouting pro-freedom slogans during a similar procession on the outskirts of Srinagar.
Pakistan's foreign office on Saturday slammed New Delhi over extra-judicial killing of Kashmiris in “fake encounters” and imposition of restriction on religious gathering and processions in IIOJK.
“Pakistan strongly condemns extra-judicial killing of four more Kashmiris in staged encounter in Shopian region of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK),” the Foreign Office said in a statement on Saturday.
“Equally condemnable are the restrictions imposed on religious processions and gatherings during Muharram,” it added.
On Friday, Indian occupation forces sealed off parts of IIOJK’s main city Srinagar to stop mourners from staging processions during the month of Muharram and detained at least 50 attendees.
With input from News Desk
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