Indian police wound Kashmiri Muharram mourners / PHOTO

Indian forces wounded at least 60 Kashmiri mourners, using batons, firing in the air gas on hundreds of Shi'ite Muslims, officials said.

Indian police wound Kashmiri Muharram mourners / PHOTO


Indian forces wounded at least 60 Kashmiri mourners on Saturday, using batons, firing in the air and tear gas to break up a procession by hundreds of Shi'ite Muslims, officials said.

During the first Muslim month of Muharram, Shi'ites across the world mourn the death of the Prophet Mohammad's grandson Imam Hussein in the Iraqi city of Kerbala in the year 680.



But in Kashmir, India has banned Muharram processions and public gatherings since 1989.

Tens of thousands of Muslims have been killed since pro-independent moves grew against Indian rule in 1989.

 

"More than 50 people were also detained," police officer Ali Mohammad said.

Saturday's procession in Srinagar was headed by members of Ittihad-ul-Muslimeen Jammu Kashmir, part of the region's main pro-independent alliance, the All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference.



Indian police clashed with Shi'ites in several parts of Srinagar after the procession was stopped, forcing police to fire tear gas shells, witnesses said.



The mourners were beating their chests with their fists, and chanted "La ilaha illalah" (There is no god but Allah).

"We strongly condemn the police brutality," said Moulana Abbas Ansari, a leading Shi'ite priest and chief of Ittihad-ul-Muslimeen.



The injured, which included journalists were rushed to different hospitals. Indian police swung into action when people in these areas assembled to take out Muharram processions.



The Indian police action sparked forceful anti-India demonstrations in many localities of Srinagar including Maisuma, Budshah Chowk and Batamaloo.

Kashmiris see India as an "occupier" and accuse the ruling of systematic violations, killing dozens of civilians in Himalayan region.

Agencies

Last Mod: 27 Aralık 2009, 11:45
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