Melee in Assembly; PDP MLA, Marshals injured
Speaker Reserves Decision on Adjournment Motion
Jammu, Mar 1: Uproar and chaos on Tuesday prevailed in the Legislative Assembly after main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) legislators trooped into the well, demanding suspension of business to discuss the prevailing situation in Kashmir valley. PDP MLA from Darhal, Choudhary Zulfikar received minor injuries on his face, while some Marshals also suffered bruises in the melee that followed the opposition protest.
The trouble started soon after the House convened for the Question Hour. The entire opposition members including PDP, BJP, Panthers Party and JSM were on their feet, though on separate issues and shouted anti-government slogans.
The PDP, which had moved an ‘Adjournment Motion’ in the Legislative Assembly yesterday, wanted suspension of today’s business to discuss the prevailing situation in Kashmir and ‘large-scale’ arrests of youth, while the other opposition members sought an explanation from the government over “brutal” cane-charge on agricultural technocrats on Monday.
The BJP, Panthers Party and JSM legislators while condemning the cane-charge on agricultural technocrats staged a walkout from the House, the PDP members on the other hand continued to press for holding a discussion on the adjournment motion amid shouting of slogans during the entire Question Hour.
Joined by party president, Mehbooba Mufti, the PDP MLAs, who were on their feet came near the front row and shouted slogans like “Kashmir Main Katley Aam Bandh Karo (stop mass killings in Kashmir), Masoom Logo Ko Riha Karo (release innocents from jails), Tanashahi Nahi Chalegi (Dictatorship will not be allowed) and Pakad Dakad Bandh Karo (stop arrest of people).
They demanded the suspension of Question Hour and other business to discuss the prevailing situation in Kashmir Valley.
While the Speaker, Muhammad Akbar Lone tried to continue with the scheduled business, the PDP MLAs loudly raised slogans and waved papers, seeking an “explanation” from the government over the killing and arrest of youth in Kashmir.
Mehbooba Mufti and other PDP MLAs were seen strategizing about “next course” when the Speaker did not give any attention to their slogans. The PDP patron, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, who entered the Assembly at 10:15 am, was also seen interacting with Mehbooba Mufti and other PDP MLAs amid the chaos.
The Speaker, in a bid to pacify the agitating MLAs, remarked: “It was impressed upon the leaders of all parties that nobody would be allowed to disrupt the House during the Question Hour. You are doing contrary to that.”
A clash broke out between PDP MLAs and Marshals when the former made an attempt to storm into the well. The PDP MLAs also tore the booklets and questionnaires to register their protest.
While some PDP MLAs tried to enter the well from front side, the remaining clashed with the ‘Watch and Ward’ staff when they forcibly attempted to storm into well from the side where the Leader of Opposition was sitting.
MLA Darhal Choudhary Zulfikar received a facial injury inside the well during a scuffle with Marshals, inviting a sharp reaction from Mehbooba and Deputy Speaker, Sartaj Madni.
The infuriated Mehbooba, on seeing blood oozing out of the face of her party MLA, shouted, “Yeh Koun Si Jamuhuriyat Hai…….. (What type of democracy is this?). The angry MLAs sat on a dharna inside the well and continued to raise slogans.
The Deputy Speaker, who belongs to the PDP, sought the Speaker’s attention on the facial injury to the MLA. When the Speaker did not allow him to raise his point, he shouted, “Yeh Marshal Isliye Nahi Hai Ki MLAs Ko Chout Pauchay…….. (These Marshals are not for causing injuries to MLAs)”.
Amid the high-voltage drama, the Speaker announced the completion of Question Hour at 10:58 a.m.
The PDP MLAs including Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and Muzaffar Hussain Baig walked out of the House, raising questions on the Speaker’s functioning.
HOUSE ADJOURNED FOR 10 MINUTES
Speaker Muhammad Akbar Lone adjourned the Assembly for nearly 10 minutes for lack of “decorum and peace”.
As the Congress MLA from Ramban, Ashok Kumar begun his speech on the Governor’s address, some of the opposition members particularly from PDP, were seen discussing some issue.
Speaker first warned the PDP MLAs, particularly leader of the opposition Mehbooba Mufti and Muzaffar Hussain Baig, to remain silent so that the member can put across his views before the House.
“If you want silence and want house to hear you, other members should also be given opportunity to express themselves. Please remain silent”, Speaker said.
As the PDP members did not heed to repeated warnings, Speaker adjourned the House at around 12:50 pm.
“I adjourn the house as there is no decorum and peace here”, Lone said.
Later the house again met at 1 pm for half and hour before the lunch break after which the Vote of Thanks on Governor’s address continued.
The speaker MA Lone reserved the decision on the adjournment motion moved by the PDP and demand raised by other opposition parties and said that he will announce his decision tomorrow.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 1 Mar 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 1 Mar 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 Mar 2011 00:00:00 IST
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