Legislators can be frisked: Speaker

Greater Kashmir

Srinagar, Oct 9: Day after high drama unfolded in the Legislative Assembly when three youth jumped into the well and disrupted proceedings, the Speaker Legislative Assembly, Muhammad Akbar Lone, Tuesday said any member of the House including the Chief Minister could be frisked.
The Speaker was responding to a statement by an independent MLA Abdul Rashid Sheikh that his personal assistant was barred from entering the Assembly despite having a valid entry pass.
“There will be no compromise on security of the House and the members,” said Lone. “I will see to it that every member is frisked.”
Lone reiterated that any member of the House could be frisked by the security personnel if there was any doubt regarding the security.
On Monday three youth, identified as Manish Khajuria, Sunny Malhotra and Ambedkar Gupta – all from Jammu – jumped into the well from the press gallery, shouting slogans One of the youth was holding a flag of newly floated J&K Democratic Front.
While the trio was later bundled out of the House by the marshals and handed over to the police, the Speaker said five security personnel were suspended today over the incident.
“I have powers to withdraw the entry permission to any person for security reasons,” Lone said.
The public gallery today witnessed thin presence of people and the space kept for electronic media did not see any presence of persons other than media people.
Sources said strict instructions were issued to the security personnel manning the main gates of Assembly and media and public galleries not to allow people with handkerchiefs or pieces of clothes having red, black or green colors.
Today the security personnel had intensified the frisking in and outside the Assembly.
“The security is for the entire House, and not only for me, and I will not allow any compromise on it,” the Speaker pointed towards Rashid who got agitated over non-permission to his PA.
As Rashid did not relent, a visibly angry Speaker shouted at him: “How shall we trust a member who violates the constitution of India and talks about Right to Self Determination in the House. Go and talk about self determination somewhere else,” the Speaker pointed towards Rashid.
He accused the member of staging a drama in the House to attract media attention.
“You don’t come here to seek redress to peoples’ grievances but to attract media attention to have your photographs published in newspapers,” Lone told Rashid.
National Conference’s MLA Nazir Gurezi tried to intervene. “Sir (Speaker), perhaps out of anger you made the remark that members of the House should be subjected to frisking.”
However the Speaker responded that he made the statement consciously.
“No I was not angry and I reiterate any member of the House could be subjected to frisking if security officials have any doubts regarding security,” Lone said.  “The security is for the whole House, not only me.”
He then continued his statement against Rashid. “Nobody takes you seriously now. You only want to play to the galleries,” Lone remarked.
Dissatisfied Rashid staged a walkout from the House.
The Speaker said five security personnel were placed under suspension due to the situation which had arisen on Monday.
BJP’s Ashok Khajuria said the security personnel had no role in yesterday’s event.
“Whether they were at fault will be seen. But they had to pay the price because the security of the House is concern of everybody,” Lone concluded.