Curfew imposed due to violent protests in J&K town

Srinagar: Authorities imposed curfew-like restrictions as a precautionary measure in downtown Srinagar. (PTI Photo)

Curfew was imposed in the hilly Bhadarwah town of Jammu and Kashmir after violent protests broke out in the aftermath of the killing of a middle-aged man allegedly by ‘cow vigilantes.’

Reports said a group of three persons was heading towards their native Mohalla Qilla area of Bhaderwah along with their cattle when they were fired upon at 2 am by alleged cow vigilantes near Nalthi village.

In the attack, 50-year-old Naeem Shah was killed on the spot while two of his associates managed to escape with minor injuries. The incident triggered widespread protests as people demanded immediate arrest of the culprits.

Reports said soon after the incident, a family of the deceased attacked the Bhaderwah police station, damaged five vehicles and set afire a three-wheeler.

Inspector General Police (IGP) Jammu M K Sinha informed that the situation is tense but under control. “Curfew has been imposed in the town,” he said.

Police said that seven suspects of village Kaathi-Nalthi have been detained, however, the main suspect is absconding.

Pertinently, J&K was the only state till Gujarat passed strict anti-cow slaughter legislation, where cow slaughter or possession of its meat was a criminal offense carrying a jail sentence not less than 10 years. The base of the traditional Kashmiri cuisine, ‘Wazawan’ is mutton. Famed chefs would prepare it only from sheep and don’t even accept goat meat.

In October 2015, a Kashmir truck driver was killed by cow vigilantes in the Udhampur district of Jammu after the discovery of abandoned carcasses of three cows. Later it was found the cows had died in an accident.

Bhaderwah, along with neighboring Kisthwar town, is a communally sensitive district. On 9 August 2013 at least two persons were killed, while dozens’ others were injured and property worth cores burnt down when communal clashes broke out during Eid celebrations in Kishtwar district.

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