MIRPUR (AJK)

A Kashmiri human rights activist elaborated the strong determination and resolve of the people of Indian-held Kashmir to get freedom from India.

'When the whole Pakistan was observing 67th death anniversary of its founder Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the Kashmiri youth from unfinished agenda of the Quaid's dream were again on the streets of Srinagar struggling for their right to self-determination," said Nasir Pae'tguer, the Srinagar-based human rights activist and social worker, in a message on Sunday.

He said, "Fully aware that like before, their slogans were responded by sticks and teargas shells, their stones by pellets and live bullets, many of them were again booked under Public Safety Act (PSA) and many other charges of sedition. They still were out in streets giving it their all."

The current phase of agitation was started after the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir High Court ordered state police on Thursday to ensure strict implementation of a colonial-era law banning the sale of beef. The high court order is a reiteration of a section of the 1932 Ranbir Penal Code that is applicable in occupied J&K, which says slaughter of cows and "like animals" is punishable with up to 10 years of imprisonment as well as a financial penalty.

He added, "So the fact is that slaughter of bovine animals was always since Dogra rule an offence in a Muslim dominated state of Jammu and Kashmir. Though being a punishable offence since decades now, whenever the authorities have tried to forcefully impose it on the people in Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir, it was met with strong resistance from the people. In 1985, when the then governor of the occupied state of Jammu and Kashmir ordered for imposing of ban on eating beef during a Hindu festival of Janam Asthami, it was strongly rejected by people of Kashmir and the protests for the same lasted for more than a month."

Nasir further said that the incidents of cow slaughters in main markets by masses as a resistance act were reported from many places in the occupied valley. The state administration had to respond by widespread arrests and the ban just remained on shelves, never implemented, he said.

History, he writes, is being repeated, throughout the breadth and length of valley, reports of cow slaughtering in almost all district headquarters are thronging in.

In Srinagar, Slamabad (Anantnag), Pulwama and Baramula, cow slaughtering was all followed by fierce stone pelting on armed forces, he said. What is different is at many such places the protesters are waving Pakistani flags while registering their protests in the streets of Srinagar and other parts of the occupied valley, he noted. This is their way of saying that they are yearning for the Quaid's dream to come true and beef ban was but just an excuse, he said.