Srinagar : An Independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid was today thrashed by some BJP legislators in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly for throwing a beef party here, triggering an uproar from the opposition which staged a walkout. The manhandling of the MLA for having planned a beef party at MLA hostel yesterday, came on a day the Assembly is scheduled to take up a bill on the ban on the meat. Rashid, the legislator from Langate, had yesterday hosted the beef party in the lawns of MLA hostel here, with the guests being served beef kebabs, ‘ristas’ (meat balls) and beef patties.
The situation gained momentum when a ruckus was created during this act of physical assault, wherin BJP MLAs assaulted the independent legislator. When situation began getting out of control, several NC and Congress MLAs rushed to save him from the thrashing and took him away to a safe corner. BJP MLA Ravinder Raina said Rashid had hurt the sentiments of Hindus. ‘It was not a case of physical manhandling. He has hurt the sentiments of Hindus. I did not beat him. Engineer Rashid hosted a beef party last night, It hurt my sentiments. I conveyed the message to the Chief Minister and called SHO but no action was taken against him,’ he said.
The assault on the floor of the House triggered an angry reaction from the opposition with National Conference leader Omar Abdullah saying it was impossible to digest the incident. ‘What happened today is impossible to digest. An honorable member being assaulted in the House. It seems that they wanted to murder him (Rashid). If he had done anything that was objectionable that should have been put on record,’ the former Chief Minister said.
On the beef ban issue, Omar said, “Our sentiments are also attached to this issue… We don’t force our religion on you. My religion prohibits consumption of alcohol and pork…Do I assault everyone who eats pork or alcohol,” he retorted, demanding that the Chief Minister make a statement on the issue.
Condemning the assault, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed said that such sentiments should be kept under check. ‘I condemn this incident. The House has good tradition. Sentiments should be kept under control. I ask Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh to apologize for the misconduct of his party MLAs,’ he said.
Dy CM Singh put his opinion saying, ‘We do not approve of what happened in the Assembly today. But what happened in the MLAs hostel yesterday was also wrong (referring to yesterday’s beef party)’.
The Deputy Chief Minister stopped short of apologizing for the incident following which the entire opposition staged a walkout.