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Trucker's death over beef rumors trigger protests in J&K
Situation in Kashmir intensified, after truck driver Zahid Rasool Bhat became victim of beef politics. Separatist groups have called for a shutdown in the Kashmir valley today. Authorities imposed restrictions in eight areas in Kashmir and placed several separatist leaders like Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Shabir Ahmad Shah under house arrest.

Zahid was attacked on 9 October by a petrol bomb in Udhampur over beef rumors, and was critically injured. He was then admitted to Delhi's Safderjung hospital but he could not survive. His body was flown from Delhi to Srinagar on Sunday evening. His funeral has taken place in Anantnag today. 

Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed condemned Zahid's death and said, "I have no words to condemn the dastardly act which consumed the life of a poor and innocent young boy for no fault of his". His statement was followed by another from Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh who said, "We condemn the incident- I appeal for peace," as reported by NDTV.

Omar Abdullah, who had met Zahid and his family in the hospital said it was a needless death in the name of beef ban for which the BJP and its allies were responsible.

Officials say that 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 said.

The controversy over the beef ban is heating up in the country and specially in J&K. Earlier this month, the state's independent lawmaker Engineer Rashid was thrashed by a group of his BJP colleagues for hosting a beef party.

The trouble over beef had started with a High Court order enforcing a decades-old law banning cow slaughter and the sale of beef in the state. It worsened after the September 28 Dadri lynching incident.

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