Independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid threw a ‘beef party’ in Srinagar a day before the J&K assembly is scheduled to take up a Bill on beef ban in the house, which seeks to repeal the law that prohibits the slaughter of bovine and the sale of beef in the state. The party was organised in the Srinagar’s MLA Hostel for which members from the civil society were invited. Cheif of Awami Etihaad Party, Engineer Rashid, as he is often called, heads the Langate assembly seat in Kashmir which is North Kashmir.
He said that the ban on beef was interference in religious affairs and the purpose of the party was not to hurt the religious sentiments of other religions
“By this party, I want to tell them that religious affairs can not be kept subservient to judiciary or legislature.” Rashid told Indian Express.
He also alleged that the BJP lawmakers tried to vandalise the MLA hostel when the party was over. He also alleged that government has suspended three hostel staffers for assisting him during the party. Engineer Rashid also claimed that he had invited many ministers from the state cabinet and lawmakers but nobody turned up. Rashid himself served the guests with kebabs, rista (minced meat balls) and patties — all made from beef. But today the MLA was assaulted by the BJP for organising this party inside the J&K Assembly. Chief Minster Mufti Mohammad Sayeed condemned the assault saying, “You cannot manhandle an MLA.”
Nissar Ahmad/The Hindu
Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh of the BJP, which is an ally of the Mufti Mohammed Sayeed’s People’s Democratic Party, or PDP, in the sate was, however, critical of Rashid.
“I don’t approve of what has happened, but the way he organised the beef party at the MLA hostel was not right.”
The entire Opposition walked out in protest. “They are killing people in broad daylight and if our members had not saved Engineer Rashid they would have killed him inside the house,” alleged an angry Omar Abdullah of the National Conference.
Last month, a BJP leader from south Kashmir organised a beef party in which he said that the purpose of the party is to send the “message of religious tolerance”. He said that he will invite Hindus and Muslims in the party.
“I have decided to organise a party for both Hindus and Muslims. The Muslims will be served beef and the Hindus an exclusively vegetarian meal,” Malik had told The Sunday Express
. “This party will send a message of religious tolerance, brotherhood and secularism,” he had said. When he was asked whether his “beef party” had the approval of the BJP, Malik said: “Do I have to ask my partymen whether I should go to a mosque or not? It has nothing to do with my party. I have joined BJP to empower my people, especially Muslims.” While beef has beefed up controversies in J&K and across India, six students of a leading government-aided college in Kerala’s Thrissur were suspended for conducting a ‘beef festival’ inside the campus to protest against the lynching of a man in Uttar Pradesh over rumours of eating beef.
According to the management of Sree Kerala Varma College, the action was taken against the students, all activists of Students Federation of India, for serving beef inside the campus violating disciplinary rules of the institution.