Indian troops open fire on procession in occupied Kashmir

SRINAGAR: Indian forces opened fire with shotgun pellets and tear gas on Saturday on a procession by Muslims in occupied Kashmir, injuring dozens of people who had ignored a ban on religious gatherings, witnesses said.

Indian authorities had re-imposed the ban on Thursday after clashes with Muslims wanting to stage traditional processions for the holy month of Muharram.

Jafar Ali, a witness, said the procession started in the Bemina area on the outskirts of Srinagar and that government forces were present in heavy numbers.

Ali and other people who saw the clashes said security forces fired pellets and tear gas to break up the gathering.

“The forces fired pellets at the procession that was mainly peaceful and included women,” said another witness Iqbal Ahmad.

At least 40 people were injured, according to witnesses.

About 25 people were taken to a nearby clinic with pellet wounds, some with their faces and bodies covered in pellet marks, a doctor there said on condition of anonymity.

“We moved about a dozen people to other facilities for more advanced treatment,” the doctor said.

Published in Dawn, August 30th, 2020

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