PDP stages walkout
Seeks Discussion On Unmarked Graves,Unrest Killings
MUDDASIR ALI/MOAZUM MUHAMMAD
Srinagar, Sep 27: Opposition Peoples Democratic Party Tuesday staged walk out from the Legislative Assembly and Council after rejection of their adjournment motions seeking discussion on unmarked graves and “delay” in the investigations into the killing of youth during 2010 summer unrest.
As the Assembly started its proceeding, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti stood up seeking from the Speaker to adjourn the proceedings for discussing the issues of “crucial nature.”
“Nobody in the country including the civil society spoke a word about the unmarked graves when we say J&K is an integral part of the country. These graves are in our backyard,” she said.
However Speaker Muhammad Akbar Lone interrupted her saying, “You should stop this sort of practice. You are more interested in creating hullabaloo in the House. I am more concerned about the issue as son of the soil.”
At this juncture Mehbooba, joined by her party members, stood on their benches, demanding a discussion. “Let us give a message to our people that the House is concerned,” she said.
PDP leader Moulvi Ifthikar Hussain Ansari told the Speaker that he has the authority to take a decision on the motion. “It is a very serious issue,” he said.
He was interrupted by Law Minister Ali Muhammad Sagar. “They (PDP) are trying to score a political point. The issue is important but it is already listed for discussion today,” Sagar said while referring to a private member resolution brought by National Conference member Mir Saif-ullah for discussion on unmarked graves.
While the PDP members were adamant on their demand, the Speaker tried to pacify them, quoting a rule, saying he cannot allow a motion on the same subject which has already been listed for discussion today.
“The sky will not fall apart if a discussion is allowed,” Mehbooba responded, joined by her party member Nizam-ud-Din Bhat.
Bhat asked the Speaker to take a decision on the motion and either allow it or reject it. But he was interrupted by National Conference member Nazir Gurezi. “You should first clear that which party you belong to. The PDP has already disowned you,” Gurezi told Bhat.
The comment by Gurezi irked PDP legislators who shouted at him to stop talking “non-sense.”
At this juncture Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather stood up to explain the legal perspective on the issue.
“As per the rules the issue is already listed today for discussion within a reasonable time. The motion cannot be allowed,” he said.
Mehbooba interrupted him: “It is shame for us that the unmarked graves were discussed in British Parliament and not in our Parliament. More than 120 youth were killed during last summer unrest in the valley. Government has done nothing to bring accused to the book. How shall we convey to the masses that the House is concerned about the unmarked graves and killings if discussion is not allowed? Please show concern and allow the discussion,” she asked the chair.
“You alone are not accountable before the masses. We too are accountable. Do not try to make a show here. We all stand exposed before each other. We know the past, present and future of each other,” the Speaker told Mehbooba.
Senior PDP leader Muzaffar Husaain Beig joined the chorus.
“Our adjournment motion is comprehensive. So let there be a comprehensive debate on it. We do not want that there shall be a fight everyday in the House. I request the leader of the House (Chief Minister) and the Speaker to support our move,” he said.
However the Speaker did not budge. “I am bound by the rules,” he said. “Do not bury our motion in an unmarked grave,” Beig responded.
As PDP members continued with their demand the Speaker disallowed the motion. “I reject it. You cannot dictate terms to me,” he said. Following his ruling the PDP members staged walk out and did not return for the whole day.
WALKOUT IN COUNCIL:
Peoples Democratic Party Tuesday staged walkout from Legislative Council after they were disallowed to discuss State Human Rights Commission report on unmarked graves.
Drawing attention of Deputy Chairman Legislative Council Arvinder Singh Micky in the zero hour, PDP members asked him to pass motion for discussion on the issue. The four MLCs who walked out were Nizamudin Khatana, Asgar Ali, Murtaza Khan and Muhammad Ashraf Mir.
As soon as the House initiated its business, they stood up moving a motion to discuss the SHRC report.
“SHRC has pointed out unmarked graves in the state. And there are 400 such graves alone in Pooch district. It is a serious human rights issue. We should discuss it here,” said PDP MLC Murtaza Khan.
However Micky replied that the issue has taken place three decades back due to which question hour can’t be avoided.
“It has taken place 20-30 years ago. We can’t avoid question hour as working of the House is important,” Micky said.
The MLCs raised hue and cry after Micky announced that the decision on the issue will be taken following question hour.
“I have received motion on the issue and will take decision after question hour,” he said.
The Minister of Medical Education and Sports, RS Chib, said, “They (PDP MLCs) are shedding crocodile tears and can’t move a motion without notice,” Chib said.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 27 Sep 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 27 Sep 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 28 Sep 2011 00:00:00 IST
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