Ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which is facing flak over the issue of beef ban in Muslim majority state of Jammu and Kashmir, got a shot in the arm after senior separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani asked people not to hurt sentiments of any other section while sacrificing animal on Eid-ul-Azha as religious obligation.
Even as Geelani said that people should avoid taking pictures of sacrificial animals and uploading them on the Internet, the government has banned Internet services from Friday morning till Saturday night. After the September 9 verdict of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court banning the sale of beef in the state, people slaughtered bovines at some places and uploaded pictures on social networking sites.
“Geelani sahab’s statement is based on logic. It is a fantastic move and others should learn from it,” PDP spokesperson Mehboob Beg said. “All he has said that while making sacrifices of animals on Eid we should not hurt sentiments of any other religion or people and I think the statement is apt and reflects what our religion is teaching us,” Beg told.
“Beef is a Hallal (legal) food for us and no power in the world can stop us from taking it. When on the occasion of the Eid-ul-Azha we will be sacrificing animals it will not be against or to hurt any particular community or tribe but it is our religious obligation,” Geelani said adding while sacrificing animals on Eid-ul-Azha, people should adopt dignified attitude.
The BJP partly welcomed Geelani’s remarks. “Religious tolerance is real strength of any secular country and Geelani’s statement in this regard is welcome change,” BJP’s state spokesman Arun Gupta said. Even though the Valley is known as mutton capital of India having consumption of around 1,000 lakh kg a year with negligible beef consumption in comparison, the court directions evoked strong reaction with religious clerics, separatists, opposition National Conference, Congress and others terming it as interference in religion.