Suicide bid row: CM slams lawmakers for ‘hue and cry’
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday criticized lawmakers who she said raised "hue and cry" in the Assembly over "suicide attempt" by an IAS officer, saying the House should instead focus on pressing issues like drug addiction and suicide by youth. At the same time, however, the Chief Minister cautioned the ministers and bureaucrats to maintain distance in their public and private life.
"There was hue and cry in the House that a lady officer tried to commit suicide…allegations were leveled. I am ashamed that the issue was raised by lawmakers in the House," said Mehbooba, in her speech on the concluding day of the Assembly.
The Chief Minister talked about the "high level" of drug addiction among youth and "increase in the rate of suicides" among young boys and girls.
"If you want to discuss anything then discuss these issues (of the drug addiction and the suicides)," Mehbooba told the lawmakers.
An IAS officer of the level of Deputy Commissioner was recently transferred by the Government after media reports that the officer had attempted to commit suicide. The media reports had linked another IAS officer with the story.
The issue had rocked the Assembly for several days with members from ruling parties, PDP and BJP as well as opposition parties including National Conference and Congress demanding action against the officers while accusing the Government of hushing up the case.
"Don't bring disrepute to this House by blowing it (the suicide attempt) out of proportions. It is wrong and shouldn't be done," Mehbooba told the members. "You (members) raised hue and cry for 10 days that a lady officer has slit her wrist and demanded response from the Government…unfortunately, school going girls have started taking drugs but we are not concerned about it."
The Chief Minister however cautioned the Ministers, bureaucrats and legislators to maintain distance in their private and personal lives.
"I agree that officers shouldn't bring their personal life in public. Whatever is in your personal life it should remain personal whether you are a minister, legislator or bureaucrat," said Mehbooba. "You need to have some control over your actions so that we (Government) don't become a laughing stock."
The Chief Minister said owing to the discussion on the suicide attempt by an IAS officer, people have raised finger of suspicion on "everyone of us now".
"Respect the sanctity of House," she told the lawmakers.
PDP member Javaid Mustafa Mir who had repeatedly raised the issue in the House seeking investigation into the case, walked out of the Assembly after he wasn't allowed to speak on the issue.
As the Chief Minister concluded her speech, Mir stood up to intervene. But the Chief Minister asked the Speaker to conclude the proceedings following which the PDP legislator staged walkout from the House.
LC ADJOURNED AFTER RUCKUS
Meanwhile, the Upper House was adjourned after the issue of alleged suicide bid by a lady IAS officer rocked it, with opposition members demanding FIR against the male IAS officer allegedly involved in the abetment of the suicide.
The Upper House began on a noisy note when the Opposition legislators demanded action against the IAS officer who is believed to be involved in alleged suicide attempt of a fellow bureaucrat.
National Conference's QaiserJhamshed Lone raised the issue in the House.
"Government is maintaining criminal silence on this issue. Why the other IAS officer is being shielded," he asked.
Lone said that government should register FIR against the bureaucrat. "Government should start an inquiry into this grave issue and the official who led to another official's attempt to suicide must be dealt with strictly," he demanded.
Joining Lone, Congress legislator G N Monga raked up the issue and said government is shielding another IAS officer who is involved in the case.
"Government is maintaining criminal silence," he shouted and asked: "Why they have failed to make a statement on this serious issue? Government is deliberately defending their tainted officer."
Other legislators from NC and Congress joined their party colleagues in demanding action against the IAS officer. However, despite efforts by the Chairman Haji Anayat Ali to ensure calm in the House, the opposition was not pacified. They went into Well of the House to lodge their protest.
The protesting legislators raised anti-government slogans and accused the PDP-BJP government of being "immoral", which infuriated the treasury bench members that led to verbal duel between legislators of opposition and treasury bench.
BJP's Ashok Khajurie stood up from his seat and accused the opposition of " being involved in immoral activities in the past. Your ministers were caught."
He was supported by PDP's SurinderChoudhary. "Your ministers were involved in other immoral activities and no action was taken against those tainted ministers during your time."
The ruling PDP-BJP legislators demanded action against the opposition legislators for using "immoral" and "unparliamentarily" language in the House.
Meanwhile, Minister for Education Naeem Akhtar got infuriated by the anti- government slogans by opposition members and retorted back at the protesting legislators. " If you have moral strength name the officers involved in the case," he said.
"Yes we are defending our officers," he said, adding: "If they (opposition) have a problem with someone, they should name that person. We do not have divine revelation. Have they named anybody? Do you have the moral strength? Can they name someone? I have the moral strength, you do not have. Who is he? Name him? Name the officer?" Akhtar asked the protesting members.
"If you have guts, take the name. Otherwise, I will take the names of those persons who are involved in your scandals. I will take the names of the people who have been in jail for six months," Akhtar retorted back.
In the middle of heated exchange of words, the Chairman, LC, adjourned the House for five minutes. However as soon as the proceedings resumed, the opposition members again resorted to sloganeering, demanding action against the IAS officer.
However, unsatisfied with the response from chairman and government, the legislators of NC and Congress staged walkout.