Beef Ban: Protesters Defy Court Orders

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Slaughter Bovines in Streets, Clash with Police

SRINAGAR: Protesters defying court order, slaughtered animals in the streets and clashed with the police on Friday, a day ahead of Kashmir bandh called by a number of separatist organizations against the beef ban. 

The protesters slaughtered bovines in presence of government forces in south, north and central Kashmir and staged anti-India protests resulting in clashes with the riot police.

The call for the protests against the ban on beef was given by separatist leaders including Syed Ali Geelani, Yasin Malik and Bar association besides others.

In a bid to thwart the protest marches, authorities had already arrested or placed scores of Hurriyat leaders under house detention. Reports said that the ban on beef by Jammu bench of the High Court is being termed as direct interference in religious affairs by clerics and politicians belonging to Muslim community. 

Muslim Khwateen Markaz activists led by Yasmeen Raja appeared in Press Enclave Srinagar and staged a peaceful protest against the ban. The activists while denouncing the court order put the photographs of BJP and Narendra Modi on fire.

Violent clashes broke out in Nowhatta, Gojwara and Kawdara areas of the old city after the Friday prayers. Police used tear smoke shells to disperse the angry protesters who were protesting against the beef ban order. Reports said that amid pro-freedom and anti-RSS slogans, the protesters waved Pakistani flags and hurled stones on the government forces. The intense shelling created panic in the area. Several CRPF vehicles were damaged after protesters attacked them with stones.

A protest was organized shortly after Friday prayers outside Masjid Hamza near Amirakadal Srinagar by International Forum for Justice and Tehreek-e-Hurriyat jointly. Amid pro-freedom slogans the protesters tried to march towards clock tower Lal Chowk, however, police swung into action and detained at least six protesters including Imtiyaz Hyder, Ahsan Untoo, Umar Adil, Rameez Raja, Muhammad Ashraf Laway and Gazi Javid. A police official said that they were lodged in police station Kotibagh as they tried to disrupt the peace in the city.

Anti-beef ban protests rocked Kashmir University as well where hundreds of students and scholars amid pro-freedom, pro-Geelani and anti-India, anti- BJP-RSS slogans marched on the campus. “Through this ban, Hindutva is being forced on us by New Delhi and its stooges in Jammu and Kashmir,” a student said. “We want the ban to be revoked as it doesn’t make any sense in this state. As Muslims, we have every right to choose the food we eat. And our religion allows us to have beef,” said another student.

According to the reports, protesters slaughtered bovines in Old Barzulla and Nawab Bazar areas of the city. Amid anti-BJP slogans the protesters protested against the court ban on beef and termed it ‘irrelevant’ and ‘motivated’.

CENTRAL KASHMIR

A peaceful protest march was taken out in Ganderbal town that was headed by Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front leader Noor Muhammad Kalwal. Reports said that the march was taken out form Markazi Jamia Masjid Beehama and culminated peacefully amid pro-freedom and pro-Islamic slogans. Peaceful protest march was also taken out in Kangan and Lar townships of the district.

The Budgam district witnessed scores of protest marches shortly after Friday prayers. A police official said that these protest marches culminated peacefully and police did not use any force on the protesters. The protest marches against the beef ban were taken out from main market Budgam, Krimshora, Khansahab, Shamsabad, Aarigam, Raithan, Dreygam, Kanira and other places. 

SOUTH KASHMIR

Several bovines were slaughtered in South Kashmir in defiance of the court order after Friday prayers.  Amid clashes with police, protesters slaughtered bovines in Reshi Bazar and Bijbehara areas of Anantnag town shortly after Friday prayers.

Reports said that soon after Friday prayers a large number of people took to streets and staged a massive protest against the court order banning sale on beef.

The protesters clashed with police while eyewitnesses said that at least two students fainted after a tear gas shell lobbed by police on protesters exploded inside the premises of Government Middle School at Mehman Mohalla Anantnag. The protesters reportedly waved Pakistani flags near Reshi Bazar and amid anti-BJP slogans.

Reports said that protesters also slaughtered bovines in different blocks of South Kashmir including Deyalgam, Dooru and Qazigund. In Qazigund, two animals were slaughtered amid pro-freedom and pro-Islamic slogans.

In Kulgam, a cow was slaughtered in Khudwani Qaimou area while peaceful protest marches were taken out in the district to express displeasure over court ban on beef.

Police resorted to aerial firing to disperse the protesters who alleged hurled stones on the government forces in Pulwama. The incident took place when separatist leader Shabir Ahmed Shah was addressing a gathering at main chowk Pulwama. 

Denouncing the beef-ban the protesters slaughtered a cow in main chowk and raised anti-BJP and anti-RSS slogans. 

Eyewitnesses said that some youth hurled stones on the cops who burst some tear-smoke shells to disperse them. However, the youth continued to pelt stones prompting police to fire some bullets in air that reportedly created panic in the area. Reports said that police arrested Shabir Ahmed Shah along with his dozens of associates.

Reports said that a bovine was also slaughtered in Tral town where at least ten thousand people participated in the protest march, that culminated peacefully near Bus Stand of the town, a CNS report said.

NORTH KASHMIR

Hundreds of people staged protests post Friday prayers against the beef ban in Banidpore district. The protest march was taken out from Jamia Masjid that culminated peacefully near Gulshan Chowk. The speakers warned that if ban is not revoked, they will start an agitation. “We will not accept this court order. It is direct interference in our religion and nobody has right to do so,” said one of the speakers.

The political workers of Engineer Rashid’s Awami Itihad Party staged protests in Qalamabad and Kralagund areas of Langate constituency. At both places, the AIP workers slaughtered bovines and denounced by court order banning beef in Jammu and Kashmir. 

Clashes erupted in Palhalan and Tappar area’s of Pattan town after protesters resorted to massive stone-pelting during protest marches. A police official said that police exercised maximum restraint and did not use force on the protesters. 

Reports said that clashes between protesters and government forces continued for hours.

In Tangmarag a protest march was taken out that was led by separatist leader Nayeem Ahmed Khan. Addressing the gathering Khan said that the ban on beef in Muslim majority state is aimed at offending the sentiments of Muslim community and the people should defy it with tooth and nail.

In Sopore town protesters clashed with police after Friday prayers. A protest march was taken out from Jamia Masjid to Main chowk. 

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