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Srinagar, Nov 30 – Jammu and Kashmir National Conference President and Member of Parliament Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday expressed concern over alleged “legitimization of discrimination” against Muslims across the country.

He said that some policies and actions pursued in various states across the country are providing political patronage and cover for “bigotry” against Muslims resulting in marginalising them further.

In a statement, Farooq said various legislations including banning of “Halal” marked food in some states have legitimized discrimination against Muslims.

“There is no place for bullying and oppression and sectarianism in a democracy, the message of social, economic and political justice, freedom of thought, expression, belief, religion and worship and equality constitute the very soul of our constitution”, he said and added “it has been recorded and these characteristics had given India the distinction of being a secular and democratic country all over the world”.

The former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister said that such overtly targeted actions in some states sends a very clear message to more that 200 million Muslims in the country that they must bear every humiliation and injustice with silence. “I think it’s bad for democracy”, he added.

“Especially the secular democracy we were brought up on, we were told it would be fair to minorities, fair to everybody. We were told that India belongs to everyone and all the governments will work for the welfare of every community.

However the government action in these states is taking the country in the wrong direction,” he added.