Ink Attack on J&K Lawmaker Engineer Rashid, Who Hosted 'Beef Party'

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Ink was thrown on J&K lawmaker Engineer Rashid by 3 men in Delhi

New Delhi:  A day after his critical comments regarding the lynching of a Kashmiri truck driver for alleged cow killing, Independent lawmaker of Jammu and Kashmir Engineer Rashid was attacked with ink today.

Mr Rashid was at Delhi's Press Club in the afternoon -- accompanied by the family of the lynched man -- when three men set upon him and threw black ink on him.

The two persons detained for the attack -- Deepak and Dev Indra singh - claimed they were angry with Mr Rashid for organising a beef party in Srinagar on October 7. They are members of fringe group Hindu Sena, whose chief Vishnu Gupta has said 15 of the group's members were deputed at the Press Club for the operation.

The Independent lawmaker was thrashed by a group of his BJP colleagues earlier this month for hosting the beef party, which was in protest against the beef ban in the state. The party only signalled that "no law court or legislature can prevent the people from eating what they want," Mr Rashid had said.

"What happened with Kulkarni, happened to me today," Mr Rashid said, referring to the paint attack on columnist Sudheendra Kulkarni exactly a week ago by Shiv Sena workers for planning to host Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri's book launch.

"People talk of Talibanisation of Pakistan, look what is happening in India," Mr Rashid said. "They are mentally ill. 80,000 people have died in Kashmir, putting ink on one Engineer Rashid will not change anything."

Condemning the attack, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said, "In a vibrant democracy like India, we need to have courage to respect dissent and provide space to different points of view."

While condemning the attack, state BJP's Heena Bhatt said, "Mr Rashid should have taken care not to hurt the sentiments of any community."

Yesterday, after the trucker -- who had been attacked by petrol bombs in Jammu's Udhampur -- died, Mr Rashid dubbed it "Dadri 4", a reference to the September 28 attack on man in Uttar Pradesh's Dadri over rumours of cow slaughter and beef consumption. The police said the cows were found to have died after food poisoning.  

The Opposition National Conference has blamed the BJP, which rules the state in alliance with the People's Democratic Party.

"The world should know today that this Modi's India, not Mahatma Gandhi's India," Mr Rashid said.

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