Several members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) beat up on Thursday an independent Muslim member in Jammu and Kashmir assembly for hosting a beef party.
BJP lawmakers pounced on Engineer Rashid and started thrashing him before proceedings began, according to NDTV.
“I meant to offend no one and just wanted to send out the message that no courts or legislature can prevent the people from eating what they want,” Sheikh Abdul Rashid explained.
Read: Mob kills Indian Muslim over beef eating rumours: police
The independent member of the assembly had hosted a party on the lawns of Srinagar’s Members of Legislative Assembly (MLA) hostel on Wednesday where guests were served dishes made of beef.
“You cannot manhandle an MLA,” Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said while condemning the attack on Rashid.
Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh of the BJP, which partners the chief minister’s People’s Democratic Party (PDD) in governing Jammu and Kashmir said, “I don’t approve of what has happened, but the way he organised the beef party at the MLA hostel was not right.”
However, the entire opposition walked out in protest. “They are killing people in broad daylight and if our members had not saved Engineer Rashid they would have killed him inside the house,” alleged Omar Abdullah of the National Conference.
Read: For two months: Indian SC suspends order barring sale of beef in Kashmir
Earlier, an order from the state’s High Court ordering the strict implementation of a law that bans beef stirred controversy. Separatists and religious organisations say the ban is an “interference in religious affairs” and has sought its revocation.
On Monday, the Indian Supreme Court suspended for two months the controversial court order enforcing a legal bar on the sale of beef in the disputed Jammu and Kashmir state while asking the chief justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court to set up a three-judge bench to decide on two conflicting orders on the issue.
This article originally appeared on NDTV