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J&K Speaker says will not allow any bill to scrap beef ban; triggers row

PTI 01 Oct 2015, 22:51:11 IST

Srinagar: A controversy erupted today after certain comments by Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Speaker Kavinder Gupta over moves to scrap beef ban law, with opposition National Conference leader Omar Abdullah saying he is "biased".

Gupta reportedly said that he will not allow any bill aimed at scrapping beef ban to be tabled in the Assembly session beginning on October 3. Media reports quoted Gupta as having said that Opposition was tabling the bill to scrap beef ban law and it was meant only to create trouble.

"Opposition can't accept that they are no more in power," Gupta was quoted as having said. The comments of Gupta, which were posted by a private television channel on twitter, immediately invited sharp reaction from Abdullah, NC leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister. ""Sh(a)me on him. He's supposed to be the custodian of the House & rise above petty politics," Abdullah tweeted.

Alleging that the Speaker is "clearly biased against the opposition", Abdullaho advised Gupta to maintain the dignity of the office that he was holding. "We happily accepted being in opposition from day one, Speaker can't seem to grow in to his position of High Office," Omar said.

National Conference has said it will be moving a Private member bill during the Assembly session for scrapping the 1932 law in the Ranbir Penal Code which prohibits cow slaughter. The issue snowballed after last month's High Court order which directed the police to ensure strict implementation of beef ban in the state that has been in force since 1932.

A section of Ranbir Penal Code, a substitute of Indian Penal Code in the state, provides for an imprisonment upto 10 years for voluntary slaughter of any bovine animal such as ox, bull, cow or calf. It also provides for an imprisonment upto one year if anyone is found in possession of flesh of these animals.