The distribution of qurban or ‘sacrificial meat’ at the Bhayangkari Field at National Police Headquarters in South Jakarta on Friday was marred by a number of incidents, including fluke-infected cows, a riot and a sacrificial cow’s desperate bid for freedom.
As the work of butchering goats and cows got underway on the Muslim feast of Idul Adha, parasitic common liver flukes were found infesting the liver of a cow donated by a high-ranking police officer.
“When they dissected the cow, one of the veterinary students found worms in its liver,” Kurnia Yuniasih, a livestock agency officer told Web site portal detik.com.
The officer quickly took the liver away, and then resumed dispersing other parts of the cow. “The infected liver cannot be consumed because it will cause illness. However, the rest can still be consumed,” she said.
Meanwhile, a growing number of people awaiting distribution of free meat outside the gates of the field became impatient and when police officers finally opened the gates, a crowd of hundreds of people pushed and shoved each other in an effort to get their share.
Dozens, all women and children, were trampled and a young girl, Elis, 7, was stamped on twice. Police officers tried to calm the situation, before assisting the injured to an ambulance, where a medical team was standing by.
The rumpus caused two cows awaiting slaughter to panic and one managed to free itself from the two men that were holding it. The cow then ran toward the crowd inducing more panic.
One media photographer who tried to capture the commotion, was threatened by an official. “Which media are you from?” he asked angrily. “If you don’t report the story correctly, I’m going to revoke your license!” he snapped.
Shortly after, the cow was captured and it too was sacrificed.
This year, the National Police donated 24 cows and five goats.
Meanwhile, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono donated the largest cow in Jakarta, weighing 1,350 kilograms, to Istiqlal Mosque, Central Jakarta.
“With God’s permission, I am giving this cow to the Istiqlal Mosque. Slaughter it and distribute the meat. May Allah approve of the deed,” Yudhoyono said in front of thousands of people crowding the mosque after Idul Adha prayers. Reports put the number of people attending prayers at Istiqlal, the largest in Southeast Asia, as high as 150,000.
Vice President Boediono also donated a cow weighing 970 kilograms. In total, meat from 20 cows and 232 goats were distributed to 7,000 people after dawn prayers, or around 5 a.m.
“Everybody is welcome,” Parlindungan Siregar, Istiqlal Mosque’s public relations officer, told Kompas.com. “Just come to the mosque, line up and get the meat”, he said.
Everybody receiving a one-kilogramme packet of meat was required to dip a finger in a special ink, just like election day, to ensure they did not get more than their share.
The Jakarta administration donated 142 cows and 318 goats this year, including 15 cows and 42 goats from City Hall. Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo donated one cow.
“This year we want to assure the poor that they will get what is rightfully theirs, so there is no need to rush. The city has prepared enough meat for the poor people in Jakarta,” Fauzi said after mass prayers in the grounds of City Hall.
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