Indian forces clash with protesters in Kashmir on Eid al-Adha

Indian forces clash with protesters in Kashmir on Eid al-Adha

On Friday, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar, situated 648 kilometers (403 miles) north of the Indian capital, New Delhi, and at least two other places in the disputed Himalayan region, waving Pakistani flags chanting anti-Indian slogans and pelting Indian soldiers with stones.

Indian troopers, in return, used batons and shot tear gas canisters to disperse the crowds.

A police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a protester was critically injured in the town of Sopore, located 50 kilometers (30 miles) northwest of Srinagar, after a tear gas shell struck him.

Indian authorities have beefed up security and blocked all mobile and landline Internet services in Kashmir on the eve of Eid al-Adha holidays.

Muslims traditionally celebrate Eid al-Adha with the sacrifice of sheep, cattle, camels and other livestock. The act commemorates Prophet Ibrahim or Abraham’s (PBUH) submission to divine order to sacrifice his son, Ismail (PBUH). Just before sacrificing his son, God provided Prophet Abraham with a ram to sacrifice instead after he successfully passed the divine test.

Two weeks ago, a Kashmiri court upheld a 1932 law that makes the slaughter of cows, which are worshipped by Hindus, punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a hefty fine. The law also bans selling beef in the Muslim-majority region.

Pakistan and India have been engaged in hostility over Kashmir ever since their independence from British rule and their partition in 1947. Both neighbors claim the region in full but have partial control over it. Pakistan controls one-third of Kashmir, with the remaining two-thirds under India’s control  (…)