Despite the high court order for strict enforcement of beef ban in Jammu and Kashmir, thousands of bovine animals were sacrificed on the eve of Eid Ul Azha in the state.
Meanwhile, stone throwing and clashes between youths and security forces were reported from several places after Eid prayers on Friday, even as the police arrested separatist leaders such as Syed Ali Geelani, Yasin Malik, Shabir Shah and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
“We have not taken action against anybody who sacrificed bovine animals. Reports of clashes came in from Srinagar and south Kashmir,” Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) SJM Gilani told ET.
Security personnel, in full antiriot gear, were deployed across sensitive places to thwart any protests. The government had enforced a two-day ban on Internet services in the Valley, claiming that anti-national elements may misuse them during the festival. Still, hundreds participated in protest hundreds participated in protest processions in Anantnag, Srinagar and Baramullah districts immediately after the Eid prayers.
Groups of youngsters sacrificed bovine animals outside masjids at several plans to register protest against the beef ban. The beef ban issue has snowballed into massive political controversy, which is likely to hog the limelight in the assembly session starting October 3.
Partners in the ruling coalition, PDP and BJP, have taken opposite stance on the issue. The BJP is for strict enforcement of the ban, while the PDP says it will not interfere with the eating habits and religious matters of the people.
Earlier this month, a division bench of the J&K High Court, hearing a public interest litigation, directed the government to enforce the beef ban law. Meanwhile, a separate division bench of the same court, hearing another PIL seeking scrapping of the Dogra era beef ban law, has asked for the government’s response. The hearing is scheduled for September 28.