Kashmir killings dominate legislature on Day 1

The budget session of J&K legislature began on a stormy note on Monday as relentless protests and disruptions by the entire opposition over civilian killings by security forces in Kashmir forced Governor N N Vohra to cut short his speech.
Kashmir killings dominate legislature on Day 1
Photo: Mir Imran/GK

The budget session of J&K legislature began on a stormy note on Monday as relentless protests and disruptions by the entire opposition over civilian killings by security forces in Kashmir forced Governor N N Vohra to cut short his speech. Vohra stopped twice before winding up his speech as united opposition continued attack on the Government.

Much before the beginning of the Governor's address, commotion broke out in Central Hall of the legislature when MLA Kulgam Muhammad Yosouf Tarigami castigated the Government for massive deployment of Marshalls in the House.

"Don't turn this House into another prison. Don't bulldoze this institution," Tarigami shouted.

Sensing trouble, the Legislative Assembly Secretariat, this time, did not make separate sitting arrangements for the lawmakers of ruling and treasury benches. As members of both the Houses began to assemble in the Central Hall, PDP MLA Syed Mushtaq and NC lawmaker Muhammad Akbar Lone exchanged heated arguments after opposition MLAs were carrying   placards which read "Punish Guilty, Stop Killings and Revoke PSAs".

Some NC members were also wearing black aprons to protest against the civilian killings in Kashmir.

In the five-month-long unrest in Kashmir, 96 civilians were killed by government forces while over 15000 were injured. Nearly 1100 civilians were hit by pellets in their eyes, many of them losing their eyesight.

When Vohra arrived in the Hall at 11 A.M, entire opposition stood up demanding punishment to the security forces involved in the killings.

"Qatiloon Ko Saza Do (Punish the killers), Qatil Sarkar Hai Hai, PSA Sarkar Hai Hai (Down with killer government, down with PSA government)," opposition lawmakers shouted.

Amid continuous din, Vohra paused for 4-5 minutes before beginning his speech.

As the Governor began to read the speech, some NC lawmakers tried to reach near the podium but were prevented by Marshals from doing that. In the melee, the opposition MLAs jostled with Marshals near the podium.

"PDP Ka Badlaw Kya, Boli Se Nahi Goli Se, Qatil Sarkar Hai Hai,"NC MLAs Ali Muhammad Sagar, Abudl Majid Larmi and Bashir Ahmed Veeri repeatedly shouted. As the bedlam continued in the House, Governor NN Vohra stopped his speech. Some NC MLAs, including female lawmaker Shamima Firdous, climbed on chairs while a placard was also thrown towards the podium.

In the meanwhile, Vohra rushed to concluding lines of his speech and left the House before conclusion of the National Anthem. The opposition continued protests in the House even after Vohra left.

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