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JEHANGIR ALI | 24 SEPTEMBER, 2015

Geelani Rescues Govt, Appeals Against violence On Eid

From the archives: Syed Ali Shah Geelani addressing a massive meeting


SRINAGAR: With the security agencies warning of a communal flare-up in Jammu and Kashmir on Eid, veteran Hurriyat leader, Syed Ali Geelani, brought down emotions by appealing to the people not to hurt the religious sentiments of any other community.

“Beef is halaal (legal) for us and no power in the world can stop us from taking it. When on the occasion of 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.

"People should adopt a dignified attitude while sacrificing animals on Eid-ul-Azha," he said.

Amid reports that the sacrifice of bovines, a religious obligation for financially well-off Muslim, may cause communal tensions following a court order on beef ban, the Jammu and Kashmir government is contemplating to snap internet across the state for three days.

However, the final decision on the issue has not been taken yet.

"We are assessing the situation. There are well-founded fears of communal violence erupting in the state. As of now, no final decision has been taken," a senior J&K Police officer said, wishing anonymity.

The controversy comes against the backdrop of the High Court order which had directed police to ensure ban on sale of beef in the state on a litigation stating that slaughtering and sale of bovine animals is rampant in some parts of the state, which "severely affects" religious sentiments of a section of the society.

The order was met with anguish and resentment in Kashmir with civil society groups and the Hurriyat people terming it as "interference in religion". As a show of defiance, many people posted pictures of scarified bovine animals on social networking sites.

While the order is snowballing into a major political controversy for the chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led coalition government, Geelani said people should not act in a way that is seen as affront or hurts religious sentiments of other community.

“Some fanatic communal elements are preparing ground for communal violence between Muslims and Hindus on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha. I appeal Hindu brothers not to fall into propaganda of Sangh Parivar and maintain communal brotherhood at any cost,” Geelani said.

“We are not sacrificing animals out of any kind of hatred. Sacrifice of animals is an important part of Eid-ul-Azha and its practice is obligatory for us. We cannot stop Hindu brothers to consume their Hallal things. Non-Muslims are free to follow their religion even in the country which is ruled by the Islamic Shariah,” he said.

“Our struggle is against the oppressor but communal forces want to convert this struggle into a Muslim versus Hindu issue which will overshadow atrocities and autocratic rule of India in Kashmir. We have to be extremely cautious and vigilant on this crucial juncture and we have to keep ourselves away from any such action which has potential to help in implementation of the evil designs of communal forces,” Geelani said.

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