SRINAGAR: Opposition National Conference (NC) today asked the PDP-BJP Government to bring in an ordinance to decriminalise cow slaughter and sale of beef in Jammu and Kashmir ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.
The party said it was state government's moral obligation to make amendments to Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) on the beef ban issue as failure to do so would impinge on religious beliefs of the people.
"While NC has made it clear that the party will submit a bill to make necessary amendments to the RPC in this context, the fact that Eid-ul-Azha falls before the start of the Assembly Session makes it imperative on behalf of the Government to pass an ordinance.
"Ordinances are meant for such urgencies and vital matters. (Chief Minister) Mufti (Mohammad Sayeed) should get the ordinance passed by his Cabinet and send it to the Governor as soon as possible so as to prevent an explosive situation on Eid-ul-Azha where traditionally cow sacrifices are commonplace all across the State," senior NC Leader Abdul Rahim Rather said.
He was addressing National Conference's one-day convention in Chrar-e-Sharif in Budgam district.
Party's provincial president Kashmir Nasir Aslam Wani said the ordinance was a moral obligation of the Sayeed Government towards the people of this State whose religious beliefs could be impinged on by the implementation of the ban on cow slaughter.
Wani also asked the Chief Minister and the State Law Minister to clarify how the State's Deputy Advocate General was part of a PIL in which the Government was the respondent.
"Did Mufti Sahab's Government not ask the particular petitioner to withdraw from all cases against the State Government before appointing him as the Deputy Advocate General? Or worse yet, was he awarded as a Deputy Advocate General as a reward for his petition?
On Tuesday, Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the police to ensure that there is no sale of beef anywhere in the state and that strict action is taken against those who violate the law.
"Mufti Sahab's Government is directly responsible for this situation as pointed out in the court order which clearly highlights to deliberate action of the State Government to not respond to queries raised by the court. This is ridiculous and unprecedented," he said.
Wani said "Sayeed seems to be heading a clueless, powerless and directionless Government and now this chaos has started having implications on the fundamental rights and religious beliefs of the people of this State".
Addressing the convention, NC Spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu lashed out at PDP for being part of a larger sinister design to sow seeds of discord and communalism in the State.
"The recent explosive situation has arisen due to the intentional act of the State Government's refusal to put up a point-of-view in front of the Honorable Court in response to queries raised based on the PIL.
"This might be Mufti Sahab's compulsion to stay in power. He has already lowered the stature of the Chief Minister's chair by numerous such surrenders and by being a pliant puppet in the hands of the BJP and the RSS," Mattu alleged.
He said "we are staring at a situation where legally thousands of residents in the State could be hauled up and arrested on Eid-ul-Azha as cow-slaughter is common all over the State during the holy festival".
He said the failure to bring an ordinance before the festival would make it amply clear that "Sayeed and his party has either absolutely no power and say in the coalition or worse yet are part of a design to divide the State on religious and regional lines".