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News18 » India
2-min read

J&K Police Chief Asks Officers to Slap PSA on Bovine Smugglers, PDP Leader Calls Move 'Anti-Muslim'

Director-General of J&K Police Dilbag Singh directed the officers on Monday to make “make strong cases against identified individuals who are habitual offenders in drug peddling and bovine smuggling.”

Aakash Hassan | News18.com@Aakashhassan

Updated:December 16, 2019, 10:52 PM IST
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J&K Police Chief Asks Officers to Slap PSA on Bovine Smugglers, PDP Leader Calls Move 'Anti-Muslim'
Representative image.

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Police Chief has asked officers to slap the Public Safety Act (PSA) on “bovine smugglers” in the newly former union territory. The controversial law allows authorities to detain an individual for up to two years without a trial.

Until now, the law was used in J&K to detain separatists and stone throwers. And, after the state was divided into two UTs and its special status under Article 370 of the Constitution was abrogated, some mainstream politicians, including former chief minister and National Conference MP Farooq Abdullah, were detained under this Act.

After being detained for three months, the authorities last week extended Abdullah’s detention by three more months.

Director-General of J&K Police Dilbag Singh directed the officers on Monday to make “make strong cases against identified individuals who are habitual offenders in drug peddling and bovine smuggling.”

“The process of registering and challaning such cases should be on fast track and the culprits booked under Public Safety Act (PSA),” Singh was quoted as saying by the official spokesperson of J&K Police.

After the Centre stripped J&K of its special status, the 157-year-old beef ban in Jammu and Kashmir was rendered ineffective. Under Ranbir Penal Code, which was earlier effective in the erstwhile state, cattle slaughter and the possession of beef was an offence.

However, in September, the J&K Law Commission recommended that the government re-enact the beef ban. In its report submitted to state Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, the law panel, headed by retired justice MK Hanjura, had referred to the repealed sections between 298-A and 298-D of the RPC.

It recommended that the prohibition on slaughter of cows and other animals should be adopted in the Indian Penal Code (IPC), for its re-enactment in the newly created union territories.

Earlier, there have been incidents in J&K when suspected cattle smugglers were thrashed by the mob. In July last year, an alleged cow smuggler, Javid Ahmad Malik, a resident of Bharat village, allegedly died in police custody. A magisterial probe was ordered into his death.

In the Jammu belt, people feel the move is aimed at harassing Muslims, who are in a minority in the region. “This is a part of the anti-Muslim project that is going on in India,” said Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader and former legislator from Kishtiwar, Firdous Tak.

“Police were already harassing people in many areas in the name of bovine smuggling. It will only add to the suppression,” Tak told News18.

The government has detained over 300 people in J&K under PSA (termed “lawless law” by Amnesty International) before and post-August 5 in J&K, as per reports.

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| Edited by: Sohini Goswami
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