Muslim cleric dies after being struck by 'qurban' cow

BLITAR, East Java (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - A cleric was struck by a cow, fell into a coma and died three days later.

A Muslim cleric who was set to participate in qurban (animal sacrifice) during Sunday’s Idul Adha in Blitar, East Java, has died following three days of being in a coma after a cow struck his body.

Sureki, 64, died on Wednesday evening at Ngudi Waluyo Hospital after being hit by the cow at Miftahul Jannah Mosque in Wlingi subdistrict, Blitar.

The incident started when one of several cows escaped from its tethers and ran for about 100 meters from its original place, said Farhan, the mosque caretaker.

Sureki — who was supposed to take part in the slaughtering of four sacrificial cattle and 17 goats as part of a ritual for the Islamic Day of Sacrifice — had arrived at the mosque where the cow was when the incident occurred.

“The cow suddenly ran toward him and struck [Sureki’s] chin with its head,” Farhan told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

Sureki fell backward with the back of his head hitting the pavement of the mosque yard. The incident left him unconscious and he was immediately admitted to the hospital.

Farhan said the cow that hit the cleric was donated by Blitar Regent Rijanto. “The cow is big and fierce. Its leash was broken when it tried to escape,” he added.

Sureki, a resident of Mronjo village in Selopuro subdistrict, was the head of the Selopuro chapter of Nahdlatul Ulama, the country’s largest Islamic organization.

He was known during his lifetime as a cleric who was active in social and religious events. Sureki was also a coordinator for Quran reading sessions after subuh (dawn prayer) in East Blitar and manager of an orphanage in Selopuro.

Sureki’s son Yusuf Affandi said his father had undergone a head operation, but his condition had not improved. The late cleric was laid to rest on Thursday morning.

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