Eye witnesses have reported that many Kashmiris were injured when Indian police dispersed a procession with disproportionate force.
The eyewitness, Nazir Ahmad, 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 Iman Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad.
“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.
Dr Nazir Choudhary, medical superintendent of the hospital said, “Six of the mourners with pellet injuries were brought to the city’s largest Sri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital.
“Three have pellet injuries in the eye. Doctors are assessing the severity of their injuries,” he added.
Prominent Shia leader Imran Reza Ansari also tweeted, “Want to ask the 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 uploaded a picture of an injured mourner on a hospital bed whose abdomen is covered with blood.
Pakistan in a statement on Saturday condemned the use of force on the mourners.
“Equally condemnable are the restrictions imposed on religious processions and gatherings during Muharram [the first month of the Islamic calendar],” said Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry.