Tensions ran high in Jammu and Kashmir’s Chenab valley following the killing of a 50-year-old man in an alleged case of cow vigilantism on Thursday.
The incident took place around 2 am when the man along with two others was transporting cattle to their village, Bhadarwah’s Mohalla Qilla, were fired upon. While the two others escaped with minor injuries, Naeem Ahmad Shah (50) was killed on spot after the “vigilantes” fired at them.
A video has surfaced showing a group of young men throwing stones at the homes of people of a particular community. The police used tear gas to break up the mob.
An official said the mob had attacked a police station and damaged several vehicles on Thursday morning, prompting the administration to seek the army’s help. Internet services have been suspended in the area.
Bhaderwah is a communally sensitive town where Muslims have a slender majority. Parvez Ahmad Sheikh, head of the religious body Anjuman-i-Islam Bhaderwah, blamed Sangh parivar outfits for Shah’s death and called for a shutdown on Friday.
Mohammad Iqbal Khan, a relative of the victim, said that Nayeem was returning home from Kathua where he had gone to purchase horses when he was fired upon and died instantly.
"He traded in horses and sheep and had gone to Kathua only a day before. He was not carrying any animal along when he was shot dead. He was killed by a cow vigilante group and had been harassed even earlier while he had traveled along with a flock of horses and mules," said Khan.
An eye-witness, Mohammad Ramzan, said that he woke up to the sound of the gunshots and the cries of people. As soon as he rushed out of his house, he found a man lying in a pool of blood on the roadside. A top official of the district told News18 that no animals were found at the spot of murder.