Religious scholars and clerics in the Kashmir valley on Friday urged people to defy beef ban on the occasion of Eid ul Azha on September 25.
In sermons after the Friday prayers, cleric condemned the Jammu and Kashmir high court order, earlier this month, banning bovine slaughter and beef sale in the state and asked people to sacrifice bovines instead of the traditional goats and sheep on Eid next week.
While people in Srinagar prefer mutton to beef, bovine meat is mostly consumed in rural areas.
The court had ordered state police to ensure strict implementation of a colonial-era law banning the sale of beef after a petitioner argued the slaughter of bovine animals hurt the sentiments of some communities.
Ulema (religious scholars) from Kashmir had on Thursday passed a resolution against the ban. They also threatened to launch mass agitation “if the government interfered in people’s religious affairs.” The resolution was passed during a daylong session of Muttaheda-Majlis-e-Ulema chaired by moderate separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq - who is also the head cleric in the valley.
“The recent order declaring ban on beef is a direct interference in religious affairs of Muslims,” said Mirwaiz.
“We want to communicate to the world and Kashmiris that there is no room for any anti-Muslim law in Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir,” he told the meeting of Muslim scholars.
The beef ban row in valley refused to die down after National Conference legislators Wednesday submitted a bill in the legislative assembly seeking abolishment of the constitutional provisions criminalising bovine slaughter in the state.