Govt failed to file cogent response before HC: NC

SRINAGAR: Opposition National Conference on Friday blamed Mufti-led government for its failure to file cogent response before high court leading to ban on sale of beef in the state.
“The abject failure of the Mufti Government to place a cogent response to a PIL filed in the High Court, is either an act of gross incompetence or worse still part of a sinister plan,” NC Chief Spokesperson Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi said in a statement issued here.
A division bench of Justices D S Thakur and Janak Raj Kotwal had observed that an “appropriate response” was not filed by the government to the PIL, seeking ban on slaughtering of bovine animals in the state.
“National Conference believes that this has given rise to the present explosive situation and has deeply hurt the sentiments of the majority community,” he said, claiming that since the inception of the PDP-BJP government, the NC had time and again warned about a “concerted effort being made to divide the State on regional and communal lines.”
“The people of J&K acceded to a secular India and not to a theocratic State. In a multi-religious country like India, religious beliefs of every community have to be respected and protected. This is enshrined in our constitution under Article 25. Certain choices are determined by religious beliefs and cannot and also should not be dictated by the state,” he said, adding that the National Conference believes that the recent tendency towards selective banning is regressive and part of a broader design to foment communal discord.
“We appeal to all sections of the society to respect the spirit of the constitution and provide enough space to all religions to follow their beliefs,” Mehdi said.
He said the National Conference was consulting legal and constitutional experts with a view to effect suitable amendments in relevant sections of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) “in order to preempt such situations from arising again in the future.”
Former minister and chairman Democratic Party Nationalist Ghulam Hassan Mir Friday said that controversy like beef ban were deliberately being generated by PDP-led government to divert the attention of people from its failures.
In a statement, Mir said that government was pushing youth to wall and every move was on play to stop the era of development in the state which was started by the previous government. “The PDP led government instead of carrying forward the momentum of development which we have started has created an uncertainty in the state. PDP wants to keep the youth engaged in agitations and divert their attention from the developmental and constructive activities,” he said, adding the beef ban controversy is part of the larger game plan of PDP which wants to create uncertainty and take political benefit out of it.
Peoples Democratic Front (PDF) president and Awami Mutihada Mahaz (AMM) leader Hakim Mohammad Yasin Friday said: “From Mumbai to Kashmir day in and day out such issues are being raked up which is a stigma on the face of Indian democracy”.
“Such issues can create doubts about the secular credentials of India. If anything is halal in any religion no power on earth can prohibit others to consume that. Freedom of religion is a fundamental right guaranteed by Constitution of India and curbing the liberty of faith is unconstitutional,” he said in a statement.
Stating that the order can have far-reaching consequences and can affect the religious sentiments and beliefs of majority community of the state, Hakim Yasin said, “State government hasn’t pleaded the case rightly. It should either bring legislation in the Assembly and amend the law or approach the Supreme Court and challenge the High Court judgement.”