Opposition wants civilians killed by forces included in obituary references

The opposition lawmakers on Tuesday insisted that civilians killed by government forces in 2017 should be included in obituary references being read out in the legislature.

The opposition members raised their demand to counter the BJP lawmaker Ravinder Raina, who said that the names of security forces personnel (army, CRPF, J&K police) who lost their lives in gunfights or cross-border shelling be included in list of obituary references.

“The names of all innocent civilians killed in 2017 should be included in the list of obituary references,” the opposition members demanded, forcing the BJP lawmaker to eat his words.

Legislator from Kashmir’s Langate constituency Er Abdur Rashid made noisy scenes and asked Raina that the House should include names of innocent women killed by government forces in Kashmir during gunfights in 2017.

“Why are you silent on killing of innocent children and other civilians by government forces? Why don’t you raise your voice on these issues,” Rashid asked the BJP lawmaker.

Rashid was supported by National Conference leader and MLA from Srinagar’s Habba Kadal constituency Shamima Firdous, saying that names of innocent children killed by government forces in 2017 be included in the obituary references.

With pandemonium all around, the opposition members asked the speaker to include all civilians in the list who lost their lives at the hands of government forces in 2017.

In the meantime, MLA Kupwara, Bashir Ahmad Dar, also said that the innocent driver Asif Ahmad who was killed by the army in Kupwara recently should have been included in the list of obituary references.

Meanwhile, while paying homage to deceased legislators, Dar said that their lives should be an inspiration and a guiding vision for the present legislators to perform their duties with diligence.

Later, while paying homage to former PDP leader Sofi Gulam Mohi-ud-Din, Er Rashid said that Sofi’s victory in 2002 election sent a message that people were “supporting the Hurriyat.”

 “Sofi won because he was from Hurriyat and his victory shows relevance of Hurriyat among people of Kashmir,” he said.

MLA Kupwara while paying homage to Sofi said that he joined politics after being “fed up with the atrocities of the then government.”

“The deceased legislators acted as an inspiration. We should not get carried away by some vested interests but work out strategies for developmental works and serve the public,” he said.

During the obituary reference session, NC leader and MLA Kangan Mian Altaf Ahmad stated that 27 deaths were reported in 2017 because of swine flu and blamed “utter negligence” of the health and medical education department for the deaths.

“I don’t know whether the House will pay homage to those 27 people or not, but I want to raise this point here so that the House remains informed about the non-seriousness of the government,” he said.

NC leader Davinder Rana urged the speaker to document the contributions of the deceased legislators in the form of a booklet “so that their work continues to inspire and guide the generations to come.”

Earlier, Nawang Rigzin Jora, while recalling the contributions of deceased leaders, said that they played a major role in uplifting the socio-economic status of the people.

MLA Hakim Muhammad Yaseen paid his tributes to the deceased leaders, saying the present leaders should learn from the political career of the former lawmakers, especially their “approach towards working for the betterment of the society.”

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