At least six people were injured in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Friday when clashes broke out between police and locals over Thursday’s Jammu high court order directing state authorities to enforce a beef ban.
Reports said six men suffered pellet gun injuries when police used force to quell protesters assembled at the Pulwama Chowk to protest against the court order.
The Jammu high court order directing police to take strict action against beef sellers created a public outcry in the state, with separatists calling for protests after Friday prayers and a shutdown on Saturday against what they termed was “interference in our religious matters.”
The ban was a reiteration of a section of the 1932 Ranbir Penal Code applicable in the state, which says slaughter of cows and “like animals” is punishable with up to 10 years of imprisonment as well as a financial penalty.
A division bench of justices Dhiraj Singh Thakur and Janak Raj Kotwal instructed the director general of police to order top police officials of all districts and police stations to ensure there was no sale of beef in the state and take stringent action against violators.
Protesters clashed with police shortly after Friday prayers in many parts of the Valley. In the old city’s Nowhatta area, masked men turned up at the main square and tried to take out a march against the ban. Police resorted to tear smoke shelling to disperse the protesters.
Most separatist leaders were under house arrest to prevent them from taking part in the protests.