At least 30 people were injured on Saturday when Shia devotees clashed with police here after they were prevented from taking out a Muharram procession in violation of prohibitory orders in force in the city.

Police fired warning shots in air, lobbed tear gas shells and used batons to disperse stone-pelting processionists at Lal Chowk and adjoining Abi Guzar, official sources said.

The trouble started when a Muharram procession of the Shia community led by Nissar Hussain Rather of Tehreek-e- Wahadat-e-Islami was stopped by police personnel at Maulana Azad Road and asked to disperse, the sources said.

They said after a heated exchange between the police and the processionists, security personnel used batons and fired tear gas shells to disperse them.

Mr. Rather was taken into preventive custody, the sources said adding police tried to persuade the devotees to disperse as no procession could be allowed in view of prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC being in force in the city.

The processionists regrouped and pelted stones on the policemen who retaliated by lobbing tear gas shells and used batons to disperse them. At least 30 people were injured in the clash, the sources said.

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