Ground Report | New Dehli: Ban on sacrifice of large animals; Slaughter of ‘cows, calves, camels, and other animals on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha has been banned in Jammu and Kashmir. Violators of an order issued by the local administration on the instructions of the Indian government have been warned of stern action.
Subject (title) of the ban order issued by GL Sharma, Director Planning, Department of Animal / Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries, Kashmir, reads: ‘Unlawful killing of cows/calves, camels and other animals on the occasion of Baqar Eid / Stop slaughter and crackdown on violators of animal transportation laws.
The official said that the ‘other animals’ in the order refer to all animals belonging to the cow tribe. Asked if the order had caused confusion among the people that all animal sacrifices may have been banned on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha, he said: “We will remove the confusion soon.”
The complete ban on the slaughter of large animals in the Muslim-majority region of Kashmir has sparked outrage, with many accusing India of depriving Kashmiri Muslims of their religious freedom. Kashmiri historians believe that this is the first time that the sacrifice of all large animals has been banned on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha and severe punishment has been threatened for violating it.
GL Sharma, Director Planning, Animal / Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries Department, has issued the ban order in the wake of a letter from the Animal Welfare Board of India. The order reads: “In Jammu and Kashmir, a large number of sacrificial animals are likely to be slaughtered during Baqar Eid, which will be celebrated from July 21 to 23.
“The Animal Welfare Board of India has called for ensuring the implementation of animal welfare laws, including the law on animal relocation and slaughter, for the protection of animals.” In his order, GL Sharma writes to the Provincial Commissioners of both the provinces of Jammu and Kashmir and the Inspector Generals of Police: I urge you to ensure that legal slaughter is prevented and that those who violate animal welfare laws are punished.
Later Sharma’s clarification came as the letter provoked outrage and religious groups called it interference in religious affairs. (Ban on sacrifice of large animals)
The Muttahida Majlis-e-Ulema (MMU), an amalgam of religious bodies, issued a statement denouncing the purported ban “under the garb of prevention of cruelty”. “…why are Muslims being restricted by the government in performing their religious obligation,” the statement said.
MMU said the government should desist from issuing such arbitrary orders that are unacceptable to the Muslims as “they directly infringe upon their religious freedom and personal law” and cause “great anguish”.
The MMU urged the government to immediately revoke the order keeping in mind the religious obligations and the spirit of the festival.
The amalgamation will convene a meeting of its key constituents and prominent religious leaders on Sunday to discuss the issue, the statement said.
Farooq Ahmed, a businessman, said the letter was part of efforts to stop people from sacrificing animals on Eid. “These efforts were also made in the past which failed. The order should be rescinded as it may create misunderstanding among the people.”