Javid Ali/Mushtaq Ahmad
Budgam/Baramulla: Beef sellers in north Kashmir and central Kashmir’s Budgam have defied the ‘beef ban’ order, saying “no court order can alter our faith”.
Beef Traders Association Beerwah said they would not obey any order and would continue to do business normally. “People today consumed beef as per the daily routine and we too did our routine work in our shops,” they said.
Beef sellers in Budgam said the ban was aimed at implementing a “Hindutva” agenda’ but they would oppose it. “We are Muslims and it’s in our religion to eat beef. If it hurts other’s religions sentiment, they should not eat it. Nobody should tell us what to eat and what not to,” said Abdul Rashid Dar, one of the beef dealers in Budgam.
At Beerwah, Naslapur, Sanoor Kalipora, Ben Kanihama and Peth Makhama, beef sellers were openly selling the meat. Locals from Ariwah, Russu, Rathsoon, Magam, Wadwan and Aarath also said the ‘beef ban’ was a Hindutva plan to hurt Muslim sentiments. “But we will continue to consume beef. We would sacrifice sheep or goats on Eid-ul-Adha but we have decided to slaughter cows or oxen openly on the coming Eid,” the residents said. “We slaughtered many cows in the morning and will sell them today. Islam is our religion and it’s clearly mentioned what we should eat or drink,” said a butcher, Mohammad Ramzan.
Similarly, beef sellers across north Kashmir’s Baramulla, Kupwara, Sopore and Tangmarg continued their business as normal. A butcher, Abdul Rashid Ganie, of Sopore town said, “I am working at my shop normally, neither anyone from the police or any other department visited my shop to stop the business,” he said.
Station House Officer (SHO) Magam, Mohammad Akbar, said he hasn’t received any order from the government for implementing the ban in the area. Deputy Inspector General of Police north Kashmir, Gareeb Das, said that the situation across north Kashmir was ‘Under control after some protests in some areas. The police will implement the court orders in all areas, but we are waiting for further directions from higher-ups.”