Police Brutality Prevailed to Injure Scores of Protestors in Kashmir
SRINAGAR: Clashes between protestor and police in India-held Kashmir injured scores of people over the killing of a Muslim man by Hindus campaigning against eating beef, according to sources.
Schools and offices remained closed in the valley on Tuesday following a strike called by Kashmiri leaders and traders in protest against the murder.
“We imposed restrictions in Anantnag today as a precautionary measure after there were clashes soon after the death of truck conductor Zahid Ahmad,” said S.J.M. Gillani, head of the state police, referring to curbs on the movement of traffic and people.
The clashes in Kulgam and Anantnag districts broke out on Sunday after the man died after being attacked in Jammu region by a crowd believing him to be involved in transporting cows.
Protesters pelted police personnel with stones, police said, without specifying who had been injured since Monday.
Protesters have blocked the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.
Tempers have also been running high in the disputed region after members of a little known Hindu group blackened the face of a Muslim legislator with ink for throwing a party where he served beef.
Cows are considered holy by many, but not all, Hindus. Beef is eaten by Muslims and Christians, as well as many lower-caste Hindus.
Hard-line Hindu activists have stepped up their campaign in recent weeks on issues ranging from a ban on slaughtering cows to cricket matches with Pakistan.
Critics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi say there is a climate of intolerance in the country and that his party is pushing the agenda of the Hindu extremists.
President Pranab Mukherjee said tolerance was the essence of India’s civilisation. “Humanism and pluralism should not be abandoned under any circumstance,” he said in remarks widely interpreted as a signal to the Modi administration to crack down on fringe groups.
The troubles began when a Hindu mob lynched a Muslim man and beat up his son near New Delhi, saying they had stored beef in their fridge.
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