Curfews imposed in IOK after Indian soldiers attack Muharram procession

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Shafaqna Pakistan:New Delhi on Sunday imposed curfews in several parts of Indian Occupied Kashmir, after clashes between security forces and Shia Muslims taking part in a Muharram procession, officials and eyewitnesses said.

At least 12 locals and six troops were injured on Saturday evening, officials told Reuters, as the worshippers on the traditional mourning procession of Muharram clashed with troops trying to stop it.

Troops used tear gas and pellet guns on the crowd, which insisted on carrying on with the procession, one in a series held at this time of the year, and pelted stones at security forces, an Indian official who declined to named told Reuters.
“The clashes continued till late night during which the troops fired tear gas and pellets,” he added.

A spokesperson for India’s interior ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

“Reasonable restrictions are necessary for peace and protection of life,” India’s national security adviser had said on Saturday, accusing Islamabad of trying to stoke violence in the region.

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The most recent clashes occurred in Rainawari and Badgam, two Shia majority areas of Srinagar, Indian Occupied Kashmir’s main city.

The five kilometres (three mile) procession route that passes through the city centre has been barricaded by Indian troops wearing helmets and bulletproof vests.

On Sunday, police vans fitted with loudspeakers announced curfew-like restrictions in Srinagar’s city center Lal Chowk and adjacent areas, according to two Reuters witnesses.

“People are advised to stay indoors and not venture out of their home,” the police announced.

Suhail Ahmed, a Rainawari resident, said that there have been frequent clashes in the area for the past three to four days as troops have been trying to block the procession.

“We hear deafening sounds of tear gas being fired for the last few evenings. We mostly stay indoors but the gas comes into our homes making it difficult to sleep,” Ahmed said.

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