BJP Attempts An Ikhlaq On Rashid

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MLA Er Rasheed Thrashed By BJP Lawmakers In Assembly Over Beef Party

SRINAGAR: A group of BJP legislators on Thursday thrashed an independent legislator in the Jammu and Kashmir assembly for hosting a beef party, triggering all-round condemnation that forced BJP’s Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh to denounce the violence in the house.

The shocking incident took place when Bharatiya Janata Party’s Gagan Bhagat and Rajeev Sharma pounced on Sheikh Abdul Rashid aka Engineer Rashid, as soon as the house met, slapped him and kicked him.

The assault took place even before Speaker Kavinder Gupta could take his seat.

National Conference legislators rushed to Rashid’s rescue and saved him from further beating.

As the Assembly proceedings were about to start, some BJP members apparently waiting for the arrival of Rashid instead of taking their seats preferred to wait near the one of the entry points  of the House. As Rashid entered into the House, BJP law makers Ravinder Raina, Rajeev Sharma and others pounced upon him. Taken unawares, Rashid tried to defend himself while the National Conference, Congress and some independent members including Hakim Yasin came to his rescue and pushed back the assailant BJP members. Hakim Yasin slapped a BJP member while defending Rashid.

During the melee, another BJP member Gagan Bhagat ran towards Rashid and tried to hit him, but keeping his nerve, Rashid retaliated and attacked Baghat forcefully.

The opposition outraged

 All the NC, Congress and other members including Hakim Yasin and Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami supported Rashid and denounced the ‘hooliganism’ of BJP members.

Opposition leader and former chief minister Omar Abdullah said: “I am still unable to fully understand what happened.

“The speaker is the custodian of the house. We want to know what the chief minister has to say on this most unfortunate incident.”

Furious Omar Abdullah  further alleged that Rashid would have been killed, if NC and other members would have not been present in the House. “You murder people in broad day light. You proved that it was your people who killed a Muslim in Dadri. When we respect your sentiments, you should respect ours. Do you think we have no sentiments?,” Opposition leader Omar Abdullah told BJP members on the floor of the House.

 “Eating pork or taking wine is prohibited in our religion. Did I stop you from taking pork and wine,” Omar told BJP members. “You had come here to kill Engineer Rashid. We come here to discuss not to kill people,” Omar said.

Speaker Kavinder Gupta interrupted Omar by asking that House is not discussing on any issue. Though Law Minister Basharat Bukhari requested Speaker to allow Omar Abdullah to speak, but Omar on contrary sought explanation from Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed.

During the proceedings National Conference member Sheikh Jabbar accused BJP members of killers of Muslims while other opposition members alleged that BJP is a slur on the name of democracy.

A furious Rashid called his beating “a shame on Indian democracy” and said seven or eight BJP legislators were involved in the attack.

Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, who rules the state with the BJP as his ally, said the attack was “condemnable and I condemn it.

“I request Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh to stand up and apologize for the misconduct of the BJP MLAs,” Sayeed said.

Nirmal Singh complied, saying whatever had happened was unfortunate and he disapproved it but added that what Rashid had done the previous day was “both condemnable and unfortunate”.

His reference was to a beef party Rashid hosted in the MLA Hostel on Wednesday evening. Several BJP legislators, who also stay in the hostel, had been looking for him since then.

Since Nirmal Singh stopped short of issuing a clear apology, opposition members, CPI-M’s Yusuf Tarigami and independents including Rashid trooped out of the assembly.

The deputy chief minister then made another statement.

“I have said earlier the incident is unfortunate. I have already condemned it. I feel sorry about it,” he said.

In Hyderabad, MIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi demanded action against the BJP legislators who assaulted Rashid.

“In my view, he (Rashid) has not done anything illegal. The Supreme Court has stayed the beef ban. He had brought cooked food from outside,” Owaisi told the media.

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