Three PDP legislators say won’t allow beef ban even if govt falls

ANANTNAG: A day after Deputy CM Nirmal Singh said the government would implement the ban on beef in the state, a few PDP legislators from south Kashmir claimed they would not allow such an implementation even if it entailed the fall of the government.
“Whatever our religion has permitted us to eat, we will eat that. We won’t allow the implementation of the ban in the state where Muslims form a majority,” PDP leader and MLA from Pampore Zahoor Ahmad Mir told Kashmir Reader. He added there would be no compromise on religious faith even if means the government falling. “Religion is first and then politics (sic). We value our religion and the dignity of our people much more than power. Governments come and go, and power should be no priority when your religion is under attack,” he said.
He, however, refused to comment on whether his party would support the bill submitted by the National Conference and two independent legislators seeking the abrogation of the law criminalising bovine slaughter, saying “the decision will be taken in the assembly”.
The party MLA from Kokernag, Abdul Rahim Rather, said the statement of the Deputy CM was ‘annoying’: “One wonders what authority the Deputy CM has to implement the ban on beef in a Muslim-majority state. People have started doubting our intentions and it is time for our party to take a stand.” Yet, he too said his party would not support the NC bill seeking abrogation of the relevant law, saying the “party may find some other alternative to do away with the law”.
MLA Pulwama Mohammad Khalil Band said that since beef has been declared permissible for Muslims nobody could stop them from eating the same: “It is a matter of the religious faith of the majority community, and the coalition partner must talk and act keeping in view their sentiments.”
The three leaders had, in a joint statement issued last evening, condemned the Deputy CM’s comments on strictly implementing the beef ban.