SRINAGAR: In a major relief for the Jammu and Kashmir government, the Supreme Court Monday suspended for two months the order of the Jammu wing of the state High Court on the beef ban. The order had sparked widespread protests in the state.

The apex court asked the Chief Justice of the J&K high court to set up a three-judge bench to go through the issue and find a solution at the earliest.

"We have two conflicting orders and it is required to be solved by the Chief Justice of high court by constituting a three judge bench," HL Dattu, Chief Justice of India, said.

J&K's education minister and cabinet spokesperson, Naeem Akhtar, said the order of the apex court has come a big relief for the government.

"The apex court order has obviously comes as a breather. The urgency created by order of the Jammu wing of HC had caused anguish in the state but it is gone now. The SC's ruling should lower the tempers in the state," Mr Akhtar said.

Last month, the Jammu wing of the court had ordered the J&K Police to strictly implement the provisions of Ranbir Penal Code which ban the sale and consumption of beef in the state, sparking anguish and protests in the state.

The education minister said that given the sensibilities involved in the issue, there is a need for evolving a consensus on the issue in the legislature.

"We have to carefully tread this path and not do anything that creates bad feelings among the citizens of the state. Even with absolute majorities, previous government's couldn't do much to change the status quo on issues where sensibilities of the people of the state are involved," he said.

Akhtar said the government will wait for the constitution of the special bench and then decide on the future course, "A sensible and cool deliberation is needed on the issue by involving all the stakeholders," he said.