Clashes broke out as people resisted police interference with the gatherings and threw stones at officers, who retaliated with tear gas and water canons to break up the groups, he said.
No one was reported injured.
Muharram, lasting a month on the Islamic lunar calendar, is one of the most important holidays for Shiite Muslims, marking the death of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Imam Hussein in the battle of Karbala.
Sunday was the eighth day of Muharram, but Shiites hold religious processions from the start of the month leading up to the 10th day, called Ashura, when Hussein was said to have died.
Large public gatherings have been banned in Indian-administered Kashmir since the outbreak of an armed insurgency in 1989 demanding the region’s independence from India or its merger with neighboring Pakistan.