Kashmir on Edge After Trucker Attacked Over Cow Slaughter Rumour Succumbs

Clashes at many places; Another precious life lost to politics of hate, intolerance: CM; Separatists call shutdown tomorrow; Govt says five attackers booked under PSA

Published: 18th October 2015 08:52 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th October 2015 08:52 PM   |  A+A-

SRINAGAR: The situation in Kashmir is very tense after a teenager Kashmiri trucker injured 9 days back in the petrol bomb attack by a violent mob on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway in Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir following cow slaughter rumours succumbed to injures in New Delhi’s Safardargung hospital on Sunday.

18-year-old trucker Zahid Rasool Bhat S/o Ghulam Rasool Bhat of Batengoo in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district, who had sustained 70 per cent burn injuries in petrol bomb attack by a violent mob  in Udhampur district on October 9, succumbed to injuries in Safdarjang hospital in New Delhi today.

Zahid alongwith another Kashmiri trucker and a policeman were injured when a violent mob had hurled petrol bomb towards their truck and assaulted them on October 9 evening after rumours had spread that three cows were slaughtered.

The tests, however, have revealed that the cows had died of food poisoning and had no injuries.

As the news about Zahid’s death spread, people in large numbers visited his residence at Batengoo in Anantnag to express condolences with his family. The youth took to roads to protest against his killing and blocked vehicular movement on Srinagar-Jammu highway. They pelted stones on the police and paramilitary personnel, who lobbed tear smoke shells. The clashes continued for some time.

Zahid’s body was flown to Srinagar from New Delhi in the State plane. The body was received at Srinagar airport by PDP president and MP Mehbooba Mufti, Minister for Law and  Justice  Basharat Bukhari and Minister for Finance  Haseeb  Drabu and taken to his native place for last rites.

After Zahid’s death, tension is prevailing across the Valley and people especially youth took to roads at many places and staged anti-government demonstrations.

Anticipating trouble, authorities deployed police and paramilitary personnel in large numbers in sensitive areas in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley to maintain law and order.

Top separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Mohammad Yasin Malik and Shabir Shah and trader bodies Kashmir Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) have called for complete shutdown in the Valley tomorrow against the killing of Kashmiri trucker in the attack carried out by “activists of saffron parties.”

Official sources said government may impose curfew and restrictions in parts of the Valley tomorrow to maintain law and order situation and prevent protests.

Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed expressed deep shock and grief over the death of Zahid. 

“One more precious life has been lost to the politics of hate and intolerance that is posing a grave challenge to the state and country’s plurality. I have no words to condemn the dastardly act which consumed the life of a poor and innocent young boy for no fault of his,” he said adding under no circumstances shall those guilty of this barbaric crime be allowed to go unpunished. 

 Former Chief Minister and opposition National Conference working president Omar Abdullah blamed J&K Government and central government for trucker’s killing.

“Another needless death in the name of beef ban for which the BJP and its affiliates and allies are directly responsible. And to think that all the state government could do was to throw Rs 10,000  at  Zahid and wash its hands off the whole thing,” Omar said.

He said Prime Minister passed the buck on to UP CM Akhilesh Yadav and UP government for lying of 50-year-old Muslim Man in Dadri. “Who will he blame for  Zahid’s death now,” he questioned.

Independent MLA Er Abdur Rashid, who was recently beaten by BJP MLAs in J&K Assembly for throwing beef party, has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to apologise to family of Zahid, who was killed for the none of his fault.

He sought same compensation to Zahid as was given to Mohammad Ikhlaq of Dadri, who was lynched by a mob.

Meanwhile, according to District Magistrate, Udhampur, Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary, five persons involved in attack on the truck on October 9 have been booked under stringent Public Safety Act.

He said two  more persons have been arrested. “With their arrest, 9 persons have been arrested for their involvement in the attack”.


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