BJP Upset With Sacking Of Law Officers In J&K, Ram Madhav Tries To Shoot Coalition Trouble

23 September 2015
Times of India
M Saleem Pandit

Srinagar: A day after the Jammu & Kashmir government sacked two of its top law officers for failing to effectively argue against the high court order calling for a strict enforcement of the 1932 ban on sale of beef across the state, there were signs of strain in the coalition with the BJP saying their dismissal was a one-sided decision. Both the officials were BJP appointees. 'The BJP has taken strong note of the termination of the law officers, and the J&K law minister, who belongs to the PDP, did not take any one us on board before removing the officers,' a BJP official said on Wednesday, shortly after party general secretary Ram Madhav reached Jammu for a core committee meeting to try and smooth ruffled coalition feathers. While Madhav insisted the BJP had no differences with the PDP over the beef ban, his comment came in light of PDP chief Mehboob Mufti asking Kashmiris 'not to heed the high court order'. She had dismissed the order as 'routine' and said it would not affect bovine slaughter and sale of beef in the Valley. The opposition NC, CPM and independent legislator Engineer Rasheed have moved private member bills seeking scrapping of the beef ban. Despite the tense situation, Madhav said his visit to the state was for periodic review of the political arrangement 'so that the government functions smoothly for state's welfare'. Sources said the Mufti government is preparing to deal with defiance of the law on the eve of Eid ul-Azha when Muslims make animal sacrifices as part of an Abrahamic tradition. The Muslim clergy and separatists in the Valley have warned the government against implementing the beef ban. Significantly, separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani asked people 'not to perform any act that could hurt religious sentiments of other communities' on Eid eve, and blamed 'fanatic elements' for being hell-bent on fanning communal fires in Jammu & Kashmir. 'We appeal to our Hindu brothers not to fall prey to the criminal agenda of RSS and at all costs should not allow anyone to cause any religious divide,' Geelani said. He asked Muslims not to sacrifice bovine animals 'out of vengeance to any community'. Meanwhile, authorities in Jammu cracked down on bovine merchants in Poonch and Rajouri ahead of Eid on Friday. Poonch SSP J S Johar said 10 smugglers have been nabbed so far and 15 cases have been registered in this connection.