Indian police have fired shotgun pellets to disperse hundreds of Shia Muslims participating in a Muharram procession in Kashmir, injuring dozens in Kashmir on Saturday.
Many have reportedly been hit with pellets in their eyes, according to Free Press Kashmir. Forty of them had pellet injuries and more than six have pellet injuries in the eye.
Hundreds of mourners were marching near the Hamadania Colony on the outskirts of Srinagar as part of the procession.
“Some youths shouted pro-freedom slogans. Police charged at us with teargas and pellets. Many were injured and some taken to hospital,” Nazir Ahmad, an eye witness told news agency Anadolu.
“The procession was not just peaceful but was also following health protocols,” said Sajjad Hussain, a witness to AP news agency. “They [government forces] unleashed such violence and did not spare even women mourners.”
“They used pellets on the mourners. The procession was peaceful and maintaining COVID-19 guidelines. People were wearing masks and walking away from each other. But they fired,” another eyewitness said to Free Press Kashmir.
“They attacked women and children in the area. A 10-year-old was hit in front of me. We have been experiencing this oppression since our childhood. This is what we expect from them,” said the 25-year-old shopkeeper to Free Press Kashmir.
Prominent Shia leader Imran Reza Ansari tweeted a picture of an injured mourner on a hospital bed whose abdomen is covered with blood and said: “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.”