The Right- wing Bharatiya Janata Party legislators Thursday manhandled independent MLA Er Abdul Rashid on the floor of the Assembly House over hosting beef party at MLA hostel on Wednesday evening. As soon as Er Rashid entered the Assembly house at 9: 55 AM before the House started its proceedings, the BJP MLAs pounced upon him and thrashed him in presence of ministers and opposition legislators. BJP MLAs including Ravinder Raina, Rajiv Sharma and Gagan Bhagat caught hold of him and beat him up to pulp. He was pushed down on the floor and kicked and punched by the unruly legislators. However, the timely intervention of opposition National Conference, Congress and other independent legislators including Hakeem Muhammad Yaseen and MY Tarigami could pacify the situation to some extent when they pushed BJP legislators and stopped them from further beating MLA Langate Rashid. Er Rashid also exchanged some blows to BJP’s Rajiv Sharma. But the situation took an ugly turn when angry legislators of BJP tried to fight with NC and Congress legislators as well. However marshals formed a human chain between the BJP and Opposition legislators in order to pacify the situation. Marshals also caught hold of legislators of BJP as well opposition MLAs. The incident was highly condemned and protested by the opposition legislators who demanded apologies from the BJP party. Soon after the incident the opposition members stood up from the seats and raised slogans as Speaker Assembly Kavinder Gupta entered the House. Demanidng action against the BJP legislators opposition members raised “Gunda Raj hai hai, you are killers of Muslims” slogans. In reply, the BJP legislators also exchanged some heated arguments with the opposition MLAs and raised slogan, “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”. Leader of the opposition, Omar Abdullah stood up from his chair and sought apology from the ruling parties and demanded action against BJP MLAs. “I saw a lot earlier, but this happened first time when the member of the House was beaten which is undemocratic. They tried to kill Er Rashid. He was saved from the wreath of the BJP MLAs by the opposition legislators,” Omar said in angry tone. “We have not come here to kill each other. You can oppose any action of any member through talks. You can raise any issue here but you can’t protest it through physical violence,” he said. Omar said that he respects the sentiments of each religions and demands respect for Muslims sentiments as well. “I agree no one should hurt anybody sentiments. But we too have sentiments which you must respect. In our religion wine and poke is prohibited but do you mean I should beat people and kill them for drinking wine and eating poke. Whatever happened has weakened your stand and proved Dardri incident happened is done by people like you. Had we not saved him you would have killed him,” Omar said. Then he asked chief minister who is also leader of the House to speak on the incident. Law and Parliamentary minister, Syed Basharat Bukhari tried to intervene and asked speaker to let Omar Abdullah speak more as speaker has told Omar not to deviate from the subject when he touched Dadri incident, but on it Omar told Bukhari “don’t advocate, I have said whatever I had to say, now we want to listen from the leader of house not from you.” After which Hakeem Muhammad Yaseen also condemned the incident. “Everyone has right to speak in the assembly. If we don’t intervene in your religious affairs why would anyone intervene in our religious affairs,” he asked. He said that Kashmiri Muslims have shown that they are peace lover and well wishers of religious harmony. “Kashmiri Muslims maintained brotherhood on Eid- Ul- Azha although government was reluctant that any untoward incident may happen,’ he said.
2015 Kashmir Despatch