People defy High Court order on beef ban, slaughter cows, bulls on streets
Srinagar: People in the Valley showed their resentment against the High Court order, which asked authorities to implement ban on slaughter and sale of bovine animals, by holding demonstrations and by slaughtering cows and bulls on streets.
As soon as Friday prayers were over, scores of youth chanting anti-India slogans demonstrated against at Srinagar’s historic Jamia Masjid. The youth displayed posters of Jama’at-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, Hizb supremo Syed Salahudin and Burhan Muzaffar Wani, a popular Hizb militant from Tral.
The police and CRPF troopers fired teargas canisters and rubber bullets to disperse the youth. The police action triggered more protests in Kawdara and Gojwara areas.
Hurriyat Conference (G) leaders and functionaries took out a rally from Masjid Hamza at commercial nerve center of Srinagar, Lal Chowk, after the Friday prayers.
But the police stopped them from marching towards the historic Clock Tower.
At Nawab Bazar, protesters attempted to slaughter a cow at the main intersection, but police fired teargas shells to disperse them.
At Kashmir University, students, scholars and faculty members marched through the campus. The rally culminated at the Allama Iqbal Library, with many protestors pledging to slaughter the banned bovine animals—cow, ox, calf and bull—on Eid-ul-Azha.
“No court or government can ban whatever is permissible in our religion,” said a member of Kashmir University Students Union.
Police had put entire pro-freedom leaders including chairmen of Hurriyat Conferences Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chief Mohammad Yasin Malik under house detention.
After Friday prayers, scores of people staged protests against the ban on beef here. People carrying banners took out a rally from Jamia Masjid Sopore to the main Chowk.
Reports from Kupwara, Handwara, Trehgam, Palhalan, Tangmarg and Baramulla said that protesters demonstrated peacefully after Friday prayers.
An organisation of ulemas from various sects had asked people to protest against the ban after the prayers.
At Tangmarg, Hurriyat Conference (G) leader Nayeem Ahmad Khan addressed a protest rally and urged them to slaughter cows or bulls on Eid.
Protesters in Palhalan assembled outside the Jamia Masjid and then attempted to block Srinagar-Muzaffarabad highway. However police and CRPF deployed there stopped them, triggering clashes between the two.
In Bandipora, people assembled at Jamia Masjid and marched through streets to Gulshan Chowk.
In south Kashmir, protesters slaughtered at least six bovines amid clashes with the police. A cow was slaughtered in Rajpora area in Pulwama in the presence of senior pro-freedom leader Shabir Ahmad Shah.
Eyewitnesses said that as the police team headed by SHO Pulwama tried to arrest Shah, the youth pelted them with stones and forced them to leave the spot. The police fired teargas canisters and pellet ammunition, injuring nine protesters, four of whom were referred to Srinagar because of the severity of their injuries.
In Anantnag town, hundreds of people from various Masjids took out a protest march against the beef ban and slaughtered two bovines in Reshi Bazar and Sherbag areas. After slaughtering the bovines the protesters raising pro-freedom slogans reached Lal Chowk to slaughter another animal.
However, the police tried to disperse them, triggering clashes, which soon spread to Cheeni Chowk, Reshi Bazaar and Achabal Adda. In Tral township, thousands of people demonstrated against the beef ban and slaughtered a cow in the main market.
Protests were also held in Qaimoh area of Kulgam, where protesters slaughtered a cow. In Kaba Marg area of Anantnag, chief of Saut-ul-Awliya Abdul Rashid Dawoodi led the protests and later slaughtered a cow.
Today cow slaughter has been banned. Tomorrow Azaan may be banned. If we accept the first, the second will be imposed by default
—Mohammad Yasin Khan, president Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Association
All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Personal Law Board bans the sale of liquor in the state and asks its members to get active in implementing the ban.
—Mufti Bashir-ud-din, grand Mufti
It is either the abject failure of the Mufti-led government to put a cogent response to a PIL filed in the High Court or is an act of gross incompetence, or worse still, part of a sinister plan
—Mushtaq Ahmad and Shabir Ahmad reported from north and south Kashmir