Indian police attack on Muharram processions in Kashmir

Police in Indian-controlled Kashmir fired tear gas and used batons on Wednesday to break up religious processions marking the Muslim month of Muharram.

Several mourners including women were injured and hundred were detained.

Authorities imposed a curfew in Lalchowk, the commercial hub of disputed Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar, fearing that the religious processions could morph into anti-India protests.

Clashes erupted when police attempted to stop groups of Muslims who were trying to break the curfew and hold processions at several places in the city.

Muharram, one of the most important holy days for Shiite Muslims. Imam Hussein (AS), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and 72 of his companions were martyred in the Battle of Karbala, in southern Iraq, in 680 AD after fighting courageously for justice against the much larger army of the Umayyad caliph, Yazid I, which some historians estimate to have been 100,000-strong.

Police detained over a hundred mourners, who were expected to be released later in the day.

Indian authorities “provide state facilities and protection to facilitate the annual Hindu pilgrimage in Kashmir but ban our traditional religious processions,” said Hakim Adil, a participant in Wednesday’s processions.

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