Police Use Tear Gas After Group Clashes in Pattan

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Pattan: Police fired tear smoke shells to disperse a group of people who insisted on holding a religious gathering in Pattan area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Friday despite pandemic.

Sources said that four persons, including a policeman were injured after some people pelted stones on police at Gund Khawaja Qasim and later clashed with the residents as well.

Police said that at least thirty people have been booked under sections 307,145,148 and 149 and for violating restrictions that were put in place to prevent people from attending the religious gathering in view of Covid-19 pandemic. An FIR number 274/2020 has been registered in the police station Pattan in this regard.

“Majority had decided to not hold any major gathering in view of the pandemic on the occasion of 28th Safar. However a smaller group led by a former MLA insisted on holding it and had invited people from surrounding villages to Gund Khwaja Qasim. Apprehending trouble police imposed restrictions in the area”, police sources said.

“A group of supporters of the MLA came from nearby Kanterbug village to hold the gathering in an Imambargah of Gund Khwaja Qasim. This led to clashes with police deployed there”, said an eyewitness Mushtaq Ahmad.

“Unruly mob even pelted stones on the houses prompting residents to retaliate.  Police lobbed several tear-smoke shells to disperse the warring groups”,he said.

A police official said that there were apprehensions that clashes may take place and that is why they had imposed restrictions. He said that some people resorted to stone-pelting when police tried to bring the situation under control after two groups clashed with each other.

Sources said that the personal driver of former MLA is among the thirty booked by police.

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