Shia mourners assaulted with tear gas shells, pellets in Srinagar

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Government forces resorted to pellet firing, heavy tear gas shelling, and baton charge against Shia Muslims on Tuesday as they defied restrictions amid pro-freedom sloganeering to take out the 8th Muharram procession in Srinagar.

Scores of mourners marching towards Dalgate were met with brute force as they tried to take out a procession from Guru Bazar area of Srinagar.

Eyewitnesses told The Kashmir Walla the forces personnel used tear smoke shells and pellets to thwart the processions.

Earlier, authorities had imposed restrictions in and around commercial hub Lal Chowk to foil the Muharram procession.

A local news gathering agency Kashmir News Observer (KNO had reported that in view of Muharram procession that was scheduled to be taken out from Guru Bazar area today, restrictions were imposed in Maisuma, Abiguzar, Trc, Dalgate, Budshah bridge, Gowkadal and Kralkhud areas.

However, mourners who swelled in numbers with every passing hour of the day tried to take out the processions despite the restrictions.

Eyewitnesses said that Shiite mourners carrying placards that read ‘free Kashmir’ and other Islamic slogans were beaten and detained while they tried to march towards Dalgate,

Meanwhile, a senior police officer confirmed the development to The Kashmir Walla, “Many [mourners] have been detained, the actual number of detainees are not known as we are out in the field and can be ascertained from the police station,” he said.

He said that only at some places [mourners] appeared [on roads]. “Some 10 to 15 people appeared near Pampori Sons,” he said.
Muharram processions in Kashmir stand banned since the inception of militancy in the region, they were banned by the then governor Jagmohan. New Delhi fears that the gatherings can turn into pro-freedom processions. However, every year mourners defy the ban and take out the processions. Last year scores of mourners were injured too.

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