Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, his predecessor Omar Abdullah and others condemned the ink attack on independent legislator, Engineer Rashid in New Delhi on Monday.
“In a vibrant democracy like India, we need to have courage to respect dissent and provide space to different points of view,” said Sayeed.
“The spate in unpleasant incidents such as this is most disturbing,” he added.
National Conference chief Omar Abdullah said on his Twitter handle: “The attack on Engineer Rashid is unacceptable and condemned in the strongest possible terms. The climate of intolerance and violence is very worrying.”
State legislators Hakim Yaseen, Nizamuddin Bhat and Usman Majeed also issued statements here condemning the attack and calling it an act of intolerance and against the spirit of democracy.
Rashid was attacked just outside the Press Club soon after he had spoken to the media about a fire bomb attack in Udhampur that killed a truck cleaner from the Kashmir Valley.
His face was smeared with ink, and the black liquid spilled on to his clothes. An associate of Rashid was also targeted with ink. Journalists who were in the vicinity were taken aback.
Police personnel who were present detained two people and said investigations were on.
Rashid was earlier this month thrashed by BJP legislators in the Jammu and Kashmir assembly for hosting a beef party.
The incident was condemned by both the ruling Peoples Democratic Party-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance and opposition in the state assembly.
Meanwhile, one more Kashmiri writer returned his Sahitya Akademi award in protest against the murder of a Kashmiri boy Zahid Rasool Bhat by a mob who had thrown petrol bomb in the truck his was travelling.
Kashmiri litterateur Dr. Marghoob Banihali announced on Monday that he was returning his Sahitya Akademi award over Udhampur truck attack victim Zahid’s death