No fewer than nine persons have reportedly sustained injuries after members of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), popularly known as Shi’ites, clashed with police operatives in Kaduna State.
It was learnt that the chaotic situation started when the Shi’ites storm major streets in the capital city on Friday for a procession to mark the annual Quds day.
The event is usually marked with a procession on the last Friday of Ramadan to protest against the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
According to Daily Trust, security operatives stationed along major roads in Kaduna and Zaria had tried to disperse the protesting group but the situation turned violent.
An eyewitness told reporters that the policemen on guard had used teargas and live ammunition at the protesters while some Shi’ites also set ablaze several vehicles in Zaria.
The IMN Amir in Kaduna, Aliyu Umar who spoke with Daily Trust, explained further that annual Quds day is a global event and commemorated even in western countries.
He, however, said he wondered why the security agents are frequently haunting the group whenever they are marking the day.
In his narration, Umar said the procession was peaceful and had tried to avoid the police who were already stationed in a strategic position to block. “But they trailed from behind and used teargas and live bullets on our members. One person was shot dead, we have just held the Janazah prayers and nine sustained bullet wounds,” he said.
The Amir also said the police had arrested about eight members of the group and denied allegations that a police station had been burnt and that the Shi’ites had set ablaze vehicles.
It was gathered that the State Police Command is yet to respond to inquiries on what transpired with the Shi’ites.
A senior police officer who confided in the media house, however, said that members of the proscribed sect had embarked on an unlawful procession and disturbances of public and disobedience to a lawful order.
He added that in an attempt to counter “their expected disobedience,” the police had employed the use of minimal force while the action of the Shi’ites had resulted in damage to public and private property.
“We arrested 14 members of the proscribed group and the Commissioner of Police, YekiniAdio Ayoku has directed that the suspects be investigated and charged to court,” he said.