Srinagar, Oct 8: The anti-beef ban bill seeking amendment to the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) that criminalises sale, slaughter and possession of beef couldn’t be taken up for discussion on Thursday as the Jammu and Kashmir assembly speaker adjourned the house amid opposition protests.
The bill to amend the RPC in force in Jammu and Kashmir and the Code of Criminal Procedure was submitted by opposition National Conference (NC), Communist Party of India-Marxist legislator Yusuf Tarigami and Independent MLA Engineer Rashid.
As Question Hour was underway, former chief minister and NC president Omar Abdullah requested assembly Speaker Kavinder Gupta to extend the ongoing session so that all bills could be discussed.
“We have had extended sessions in the past, which lasted even up to 9 p.m. Why can’t we do it today? I think the intention of the state government is not to allow discussion on our (anti-beef ban) bill and it wants time to pass so that the bill lapses,” he said.
Omar Abdullah even suggested cancelling the lunch break for taking up bills for discussion.
Engineer Rashid, who walked out of the assembly many times, protested by displaying a banner saying ‘time is running’. He later approached the speaker’s podium and sat there till the assembly was adjourned.
As the Speaker adjourned the assembly at the routine time of 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, the beef ban revocation bill could not be taken up for discussion.
The ban on beef or its sale is seen as an extremely sensitive issue in Jammu and Kashmir, with the predominant Muslim majority terming consumption of beef lawful and a significant Hindu population opposing the revocation of the beef ban because of religious sentiments involved.