Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly on Thursday witnessed unruly scenes after BJP MLAs thrashed Independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid for hosting a beef party on Wednesday.
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.
Ruckus in J&K Assembly, BJP MLA Ravinder Raina beat up Engineer Rashid for hosting a beef party. pic.twitter.com/akV8AF4RnL
— ANI (@ANI_news) October 8, 2015
Even before the Speaker, Kavinder Gupta, could take his seat, BJP MLAs Gagan Bhagat and Rajeev Sharma pounced on Engineer Rashid and started thrashing him.
Opposition MLAs from the National Conference (NC) had to intervene to save Engineer Rashid.
Opposition leader and former chief minister Omar Abdullah said what was witnessed in the house today was unprecedented.
"I am still unable to fully understand what happened in the assembly today (Thursday)."
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 said, demanding that the Chief Minister make a statement on the issue.
Condemning the assault, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed said sentiments should be kept under check.
"This house has high values of parliamentary conduct. Whatever has happened here is condemnable and I condemn it."
"I request deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh (BJP) to stand up and apologise for the misconduct of the BJP MLAs," Sayeed said.
The Deputy Chief Minister stopped short of apologising for the incident following which the entire opposition staged a walkout.
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," he said.
"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.
This week, the J&K Assembly has witnessed repeated adjournments amid protests by the Congress and National Conference (NC) over the issue of beef ban.
Since the deputy chief minister stopped short of issuing a clear apology in his statement, opposition NC, Congress, CPI M, member Yusuf Tarigami and other independents including Engineer Rashid and Hakeem Yaseen walked out of the house after which question hour started in the Assembly.
The beef row erupted after a division bench of High Court in Jammu directed the state to strictly implement the ban in the state as per the law.
Last month the Jammu bench of the State High Court had ordered the J&K Police to strictly implement the provisions of Ranbir Penal Code which ban the sale and consumption of beef in the state, sparking anguish and protests in the state.
However, the Supreme Court suspended for two months a controversial court order for enforcing a legal bar on the sale of beef in Jammu and Kashmir while asking the Chief Justice of J-K High Court to set up a three-judge bench to decide on two conflicting orders on the issue.
J&K government had welcomed the Supreme Court decision to suspend the order of state High Court on beef ban for two months.