Jammu and Kashmir erupted in violence and clashes on 18 October when news came in that, Zahid Ahmad, who was attacked with a petrol bomb in Udhampur following beef rumours 10 days ago, succumbed to burn injuries in a Delhi hospital.
Irate protesters threw stones at the police, who replied with tear gas and rained lathis on the protestors to drive them away at a village in Anantnag district, which is the deceased’s native place.
According to officials, seven men were arrested for the attack on Zahid — five of them were booked under Public Safety Act. The kingpin, however, is still at large, they added.
Zahid suffered more than 60% burns injuries when a petrol bomb was thrown on his truck and set on fire on October 9. The attack was carried out following rumours that three cows were apparently slaughtered in the area.
At the time, Zahid and his helper, Showkat, were moved to Delhi from Srinagar for medical treatment of their injuries.
“Why were the guilty not punished?” I returned the compensation too to chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. Nobody from the administration or government approached us,” said Zahid’s cousin.
Opposition party National Conference targeted the PDP-BJP government for not disclosing political affiliation of the attackers. In a tweet, Omar Abdullah said “The Hon PM passed the buck on to @yadavakhilesh and the UP Govt for #Dadri. Who will he blame for #Zahid’s death now???”
“Another needless death in the name of #BeefBan for which the BJP and its affiliates, including allies are directly responsible,” he tweeted.
Officials said when tests conducted on the carcasses revealed that the cows had died because of food poisoning and the rumours of cow slaughter were only imagined in order to create communal tension in the area.
In September, J&K Assembly was shocked independent MLA Engineer Rashid was openly thrashed by his BJP colleagues for hosting a beef party, leaving the PDP red-faced.