J&K Government Sacks Law Officers Over Beef Ban

22 September 2015
Times of India
M Saleem Pandit

Srinagar: The Jammu & Kashmir government on Tuesday sacked two of its top law officers over their 'failure to articulate' the government's position against the high court's September 9 order that directed the administration to strictly enforce the 1932 law that bans beef across the state. J&K minister Basharat Bukhari's office sacked additional advocate general Vishal Sharma and deputy advocate general Parimoksh Seth with immediate effect 'for failing to convince the court against passing the verdict of sale of beef in the state'. Interestingly, Seth had filed a petition in the Jammu bench of the high court against the sale and consumption of beef in the state before he was appointed deputy advocate general in April this year. Notwithstanding the government's decision to remove the two officials, the crisis doesn't appear to be going away and could trigger a crisis for the Mufti-led government if its coalition partner BJP protests against the sacking. Also, Muslim clergy and separatists including Syed Ali Shah Geelani have objected to the court's September 9 order. Despite the 1932 ban imposed by Kashmir's erstwhile Dogra rulers, beef has been available in rural Kashmir and its Muslim dominated areas mainly in the Valley. Also, the urban Muslim elite are not consumers of beef, and instead prefer lamb. But ever since the advent of militancy, shops of beef sellers have come up even in down town Srinagar. Meanwhile, independent MLA from Langate, Engineer Rasheed, moved a motion seeking repealing of section 298 A and section 298 B of RPC of 1932 seeking to end the ban on bovine slaughter in the state. Governor N N Vohra has convened the assembly on October 3 when the opposition parties including National conference and independent MLAs are likely to support Rashid's Bill, leaving the PDP with the odd prospect of joining hands with the Opposition.