JAMMU: The high court of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday directed police to ensure implementation of a ban on the sale of beef in India-held Kashmir, reported Hindustan Times.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) youth wing member Advocate Parimoksh Seth's public interest litigation petition maintained that the slaughter of cows hurt the religious sentiments of certain communities. He was of the view that cow slaughter was common in the state despite Ranbir Penal Code provisions.
The 1932 Ranbir Penal Code, which is applicable in India-held Kashmir, says that the slaughter of cows and similar animals is punishable with up to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine.
The ruling follows bans on slaughtering the animals and selling their flesh which were recently introduced in several Indian states, a move that critics say discriminates against Muslims and other religious minorities who rely on the cheap meat for protein. Minority groups and activists say beef bans hurt India's secular fabric and personal freedom.
A bench comprising Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur and Justice Janak Raj Kotwal ordered the director general of police to command police officials in all districts and police stations to ensure that no beef was sold in the state and that strict action was taken against violators of the ban.
Some 'separatist' groups in India-held Kashmir called for a strike to protest the ban.
Dukhtaran-e-millat chief Asiya Andrabi, in an act of defiance, arranged for the slaughter of a cow at her Buchpora residence, the Kashmir Reader reported.
Maharashtra state capital Mumbai earlier this week banned the slaughter and sale of meat for four days, following demands from the strictly vegetarian Jain community, sparking anger among meat eaters.
Following the Mumbai beef ban, Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena distributed packets of meat in various areas of the city in protest, a Hindustan Times report said.
Moves to protect cows have intensified since Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power after general elections last May.