Ruling lawmakers in Kashmir punch and kick opposition member for serving beef at party

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.