SRINAGAR: Even as BJP, a coalition partner in Jammu and Kashmir government, has welcomed the High Court ruling asking police to strictly implement beef ban in the state, a party leader from south Kashmir will organise a beef party to send across a message of religious tolerance.
"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. They will share a table and it will send a message of brotherhood and religious tolerance," Khurshid Ahmad Malik, who unsuccessfully contested the 2014 assembly elections from Kokernag in south Kashmir on BJP ticket last year, said.
Malik said the court order had given rise to religious insecurities among the majority community in the state. "The order has given rise to religious insecurities among the majority community. They feel a mismatch in their religious rights. We have to make them feel that we are with them and that is why I want to bring everyone on a single platform," he said.
The BJP leader said it was his personal decision and his party was not involved in it. "This is my personal view. It has nothing to do with my party. After all, the order is from a court and not from the government or my party," he said. He said the party has not discussed the matter and any party leader supporting the High Court ruling is doing so in his personal capacity.
"This is not a BJP line. The party has not discussed whether to support or to object the order. Any one saying so could be his personal view. The party will discuss it and I believe wisdom will prevail," he said. Asked whether his decision was against the party, Malik said "I am not concerned about what someone says in Jammu or Delhi. I have to see if my house is in order".
He said BJP’s priority was to have peace in the state along with equitable development. "For development, peace is a pre-requisite. Why should we touch those issues which can disturb peace in the state," he said. The BJP leader said the courts and the government should take into consideration the collective conscience of the people and not ban something which is ‘Halal’ (permitted) for the majority community.
The High Court on Tuesday asked the police to strictly implement beef ban in the state. The BJP yesterday said the ban should be implemented in letter and spirit. The party sought strict action against those found violating the court order in the state.
"The law enforcing authorities should not take a lenient view of such elements who violate the court directions and indulge in provoking and hurting sentiments by their acts, which have the potential of creating communal tension and vitiate the peaceful atmosphere of the state," BJP state vice-president and MLC Ramesh Arora said.