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Islamic forums in Kashmir decry cattle slaughter ban on Eid

They claimed that it is an infringement of religious freedom


Mutahida Majlis-e-Ulema (MMU), an amalgam of Islamic scholars of Kashmir, headed by Mirwaiz Moulvi Umar Farooq, on Friday, expressed strong resentment against the government decision to ban sacrifice of bovines on the occasion of Eid al-Adha (Bakra Eid), and urged the government to withdraw the ban. 

Eid al-Adha, popularly known as badi Eid (bigger Eid) in Kashmir, will be celebrated in July on 21-23. Sacrificing animals like lamb, cows, and camels is an important ritual on Eid al-Adha for the Muslims world over.

In Muslim majority Jammu and Kashmir, most Muslims sacrifice lambs on Eid al-Adha but some also sacrifice bovines.

The MMU, in a joint statement,  said it is surprised that sacrifice of bovine animals on the religious occasion of Eid is being termed "illegal" and disallowed under the garb of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

The statement said the sacrifice of permitted animals, including bovines, is imperative to the celebration of Eid al-Adha. “Hence, it is an important tenet of religion on this day, and a duty upon persons on whom it is obligatory,” the statement said. “A Muslim indeed has to refrain from any kind of negligence in performing this act of worship. So why are Muslims being restricted by the government in performing their religious obligation?” 

It said the government should desist from issuing arbitrary orders that are unacceptable to the Muslims of  Jammu and Kashmir as they infringe on the religious freedom and  their personal law, causing them great anguish. 

It said the  government should immediately revoke this arbitrary and discriminatory order. “Let the people of  Kashmir celebrate Eid in keeping with its religious obligations and the spirit of the festival,’’ the statement said. 

It said the MMU will convene an urgent meeting of its key constituents and leading Muftis of J&K on Sunday at the residence of Mufti Azam Mufti Nasir ul Islam and inform people accordingly.

The members of the Mutahida Majlis-e-Ulema include Anjuman-e-Auqaf Jamia Masjid Srinagar, Mufti Azam’s Muslim Personal Law Board, Darul Uloom Rehimiyyah, Anjuman-e-Shari'a Shian, Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadeeth, Jamaat-e-Islami, Karwaan-e-Islami, Ittehad-e-Muslimeen, Anjuman-e-Himayat-ul-Islam, Anjuman-e-Tabligh-ul-Islam, Jamiat Hamdaniya, Anjuman Ulema Ahnaaf, Darul Uloom Qasmia, Darul Uloom Bilalia, Anjuman Nusrat-ul-Islam, Anjuman-e-Mazhar-ul-Haq, Jamiat Aima Wa Ulema, Anjuman-e-Imam-o-Mashaa’ikh Kashmir, Dar-ul-Uloom Naqshbandia, Dar-ul-Uloom Rasheedia, Ahl-e-Bayt Foundation, Madrasa Kanz-ul-Uloom, Karvaan Khatm-e-Nabuwat, and other religious, social and educational associations.

On Thursday, the J&K government banned the slaughter of cows, calves and camels on Eid al-Adha  in the Union territory.

The ban on the slaughter of cows, calves and camels was communicated by director of Planning, J&K Animal/Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries Department, to the Divisional Commissioner, Jammu and Kashmir, and IGP, Jammu and Kashmir.

Citing an official letter from the Animal Welfare Board of India, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Government of India, the communication reads: “In this regard, large numbers of sacrificial animals are likely to be slaughtered in the UT of J&K during Bakra Eid festival scheduled from 21-23 July, 2021 & the Animal Welfare Board of India, in view of animal welfare, has requested for implementation of all precautionary measures to strictly implement the Animal Welfare Laws viz. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960; Transport of Animal Welfare Rules, 1978; Transport of Animals (Amendment) Rules, 2001; Slaughter House Rules, 2001; Municipal Laws & Food Safety & Standards Authority of India directions for slaughtering of animals (under which camels cannot be slaughtered) during the festival.”

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