Less than a fortnight after he was attacked by BJP MLAs in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly for hosting a beef party, Independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid, better known as Engineer Rashid, was attacked by Hindu Sena activists who blackened his face with ink and mobil oil in Delhi on Monday.
Rashid was at the Press Club here to address a press conference on the October 8 attack on truckers in Udhampur. The relatives of Zahid Ahmad Bhat, who died on Sunday, and Showkat Ahmad, who also suffered burns, were also present.
According to sources, the attack happened about 20 minutes after the press conference ended, when Rashid was speaking to some television channels. The Hindu Sena activists blackened his face while shouting “gau mata ka apman, nahi sahega Hindustan”.
“We arrested two Hindu Sena members, Deepak Sharma (30) and Devendra Upadhyay (33), under Sections 355 (assault or criminal force with intent to dishonour person) of the IPC. They were detained at the venue itself where they threw black ink at the MLA. The SHO standing there also got his uniform soiled in the attack. The two had come to the venue carrying ink with them with the intent to attack,” said DCP Jatin Narwal.
When contacted by The Indian Express, Hindu Sena national president Vishnu Gupta claimed responsibility for the attack and said Rashid was a “Muslim terrorist” and any person who insulted gau mata would have to face the consequences.
“Two of our activists blackened the face of the Muslim terrorist who had organised a beef party. He slaughtered and ate our gau mata. Such a person cannot be allowed in Delhi. He should know that this is Delhi, not Pakistan. Today it was just an ink attack, next time it won’t be just ink. He should be thrown out of this country,” said Gupta.
Speaking to TV channels right after the attack, Rashid said he would not “succumb” to threats. “We will not succumb. Let the world see how India treats Kashmir now. This is no longer Gandhi’s India, this is Modi’s India,” he said.
Earlier, at his press conference, Rashid had tried to justify the beef party that he hosted. “I never eat non-vegetarian food in my constituency otherwise, but it hurts me when somebody from Mumbai tells me that I can’t eat beef. My cow is my cow and I decide what I do with it…If there is such a huge problem with cow slaughter, then stop wearing leather slippers too,” he said.
He also expressed concern over the growing “intolerance” by “Right-wing forces”, saying that they were proving Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s two-nation theory correct. He asked Modi to apologise. “The BJP has already divided the entire country; please don’t divide J&K now. By doing this, you are proving Jinnah’s two-nation theory absolutely right. Modi should apologise for Godhra, Akhlaq, Zahid, and every other such incident.”