Lawmakers from India's ruling Hindu nationalist party in Kashmir have kicked and punched an independent member of the state assembly for hosting a party where he served beef.

Hindus consider the cow to be sacred, and slaughtering of cows is banned in most Indian states.

Bharatiya Janata Party members beat lawmaker Rashid Ahmed, a Muslim, in the assembly soon after its session began Thursday.

Other opposition lawmakers rescued Ahmed and later staged a walkout.

The ruling party lawmakers were angry over a party hosted by Ahmed the previous night at which he served beef.

Differences have deepened within Kashmir's ruling coalition, with the Hindu nationalist party demanding a ban on slaughtering cows and selling beef in the Muslim-majority state.