SRINAGAR: Independent MLA Engineer Rashid was assaulted by BJP members in the J&K Assembly on Thursday, a day after he threw a ‘beef’ party at the MLA hostel in Srinagar.
The Assembly was subsequently adjourned at 1.30pm despite protests of the Opposition that the anti-beef ban bills listed for the day’s business had not been discussed.
The BJP members started physically attacking Rashid as the Assembly proceedings began. It was left to National Conference and Congress members to intervene and rescue Rashid from being beaten by the BJP members. National Conference, Congress and other opposition members condemned the assault and demanded an apology from the government before staging a walk-out. After Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s intervention, the opposition members returned to the House.
Mufti condemned the assault on Rashid, stating that Assembly was a sacred forum where laws are made and matters of public importance are raised and deliberated upon. “What happened today is highly unfortunate. The sanctity of the House should be maintained and it should not be reduced to a wrestling ring where blows are exchanged,” he said.
Terming the incident as unacceptable, Mufti asked Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Nirmal Singh to make a statement on the issue who apologised and said, “We condemn the thrashing of Er Rashid. It is unfortunate.”
However, he also condemned Rashid’s beef party. “We don’t approve of it”, he said. Meanwhile, Rashid accused the PDP-BJP coalition of trying to “slaughter” him and thanked NC members and Omar Abdullah for saving his life.
“I would have been dead if National Conference and some other members had not stopped the BJP members from attacking me. As soon as I entered the House, the BJP members attacked me. It seems they had come into the House with the sole purpose of killing me,” he said.
“If BJP MLAs can consume liquor in the MLA hostel, why can’t I eat beef?” he said.