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The Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bhukari, has expressed concern over the rising incidents of violence and killing of innocent people in the name of cow protection.
In a letter dated July 12 and forwarded to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Bukhari said even people carrying buffaloes are not being spared.
"This situation has made us particularly concerned. This concern has increased due to the coming festival of Eid-ul-Adha, wherein animals are sacrificed. On this occasion, animals from small towns and districts are taken to big cities for selling. Apart from goats, buffaloes too are carried to the markets. The restrictions imposed by the government in the recent past on the sale of cattle meant for slaughter in the cattle markets a likely to disturb the sacrifice of animals on a large scale," he said.
He said these restrictions have instilled in Muslims deep concern as well as fear.
"It is also strongly feared that people carrying animals to the markets will become a target of violence.
We are not n favour of sacrificing cows. Sentiments of a particular religious community are attached. We give due respect to their religious sentiments, but if those carrying buffaloes and cows are attacked in the name of the protection of animals, then the peace of the country will be affected," Bukhari cautioned.
"The government must think over this and should ensure that those carrying cattle other than the prohibited ones should not be harassed. As the sacrifice of animals on the occasion of Eid-al-Adha is a part and parcel of the Muslim faith, no hindrance should come in this way. Muslims should be completely free to practice their religious obligations," he said.
"The way we respect the religious sentiments of others, we expect the same for us. In this regard, the responsibility of maintaining a peaceful environment and providing safety in every way lies on the government and the administration. Government should give instructions to the police and the administration at the national level that they should provide security to the Muslims, and not let any hindrance come in the way of this religious rite of theirs," Bukhari stated further.
He said that the strictest legal action should be taken against those who either attempt to disrupt it or attack those transporting animals.
"If this is not done, then it is feared that some elements may take the opportunity to vitiate the environment of the country on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha by making people target of their violence in the name of animal protection," he concluded.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)