The Jammu and Kashmir police on Sunday used teargas shells to disperse Muharram processions in the Valley. On Saturday too, police had resorted to the use of pellets when Muharram processions were taken out.
Police say four people have been injured in the incidents over the past two days — three at Bemina Srinagar and one at Zadibal Srinagar.
Local residents said the police action was unwarranted as the processions were peaceful and the participants adhered to all protocols laid down to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
But, police said there were protests and slogans were raised.
“Despite several meetings between leaders of Shia community and civil/police administrations and appeals made by Shia leaders, there have been some provocative & anti-national slogans, posters, banners and minor incidents of violence during processions. Police have been handling the situations professionally and without any prejudice. Three minor incidents (took place) at Zoorigund, Bemina and Zadibal occurred, which are part of professional hazard,” IGP, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said.
“Our police personnel deployed on the ground have been sensitised by the senior officers upto the rank of IGP. But some of our people should not have been influenced by continuous provocation by Pakistan and terrorists and should have avoided confrontation with police. Police deployments are only for their security from terrorist attacks and sectarian clashes,” he added.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration has banned religious gatherings in the Valley citing the pandemic.
On Saturday, several people were injured in police action in Srinagar and Budgam.
The PDP has condemned the use of force against the mourners.
“Militating against a peaceful religious gathering has reflected the government’s iron fist approach that it has been adopting in Kashmir without any compunction,” PDP spokesperson and media advisor Suhail Bukhari said in a statement. “The government’s ruthless measures have proved beyond doubt that religion is being demonised, democratic dissent criminalised and cruelty is being normalised in Kashmir,” he added.