Unprecedented commotion as Opposition Members jump on tables, ransack furniture

ASSEMBLY ADJOURNED TWICE
TNN Bureau. Updated: 1/10/2017 1:19:43 AM

BIVEK MATHUR

JAMMU: The Legislative Assembly today plunged into unprecedented commotion with at least two Members jumping over the reporting table and throwing across furniture and gadgets forcing Speaker Kavinder Gupta to adjourn the House twice.
Speaker Kavinder Gupta found himself at the receiving end of the Members of the National Conference and Congress who accused him of acting in partisan manner. There were many provocations which repeatedly led to massive uproar in the post lunch session but the situation took for an ugly turn when Speaker said he thought that Opposition Members were chanting ‘Kashmir banega Pakistan’. The Opposition was, however, chanting a taunt which said ‘Kashmir banega kabristan’ (Kashmir shall become graveyard) –a reference to the killings in last year’s turmoil.
Terming the Speaker’s allegations as “false” and “against the national-interest”, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader said that Congress along with other opposition are going to bring no confidence motion against the Speaker saying, “we are meeting His Excellency Governor NN Vohra, on this issue.”
The initial trigger was Opposition protest on the situation arising out of alleged sacrilegious act in Kathua district. The issue was raised by Mian Altaf Ahmed of NC who said “houses of Gujjars were gutted; community people were attacked ruthlessly by the RSS and BJP men in Kathua district today over alleged sacrilegious act”.
Altaf was backed by other opposition Members, who were claiming that Muslims are not safe in entire Jammu province, be it Kathua, Udhampur, Jammu, Samba or Ramban.
With high-pitch slogans reverberating in the house, entire opposition came to the Well of the House. Independent Legislator Engineer Rashid stood atop the reporting table and kicked off an audio system, hurled mike in the air, tore papers apart and broke down a table-top of the information department.
Some legislators also resorted to vandalism by hurling chairs at each other and asked the Government to clear the exact situation in Kathua district.
Seeing the pandemonium in the lower house, Speaker adjourned the house for half-an-hour.
After half-an-hour adjournment, when the house assembled again, Noor Mohammad, PDP MLA from Batmaloo, who was speaking on Governor Address, accused Congress MLA from Bandipore, Usman Majid, of his involvement in killing, torture of people and committing atrocities on the people of Hajin, Sumbal and Bandipore along with Kuka Parrey, founder of pro-India militant outfit Ikhwan-ul-Muslemoon.
He said, “Why Usman Majid is shedding crocodile tears over killings? He along with Kuka Parrey committed atrocities on innocent people in Kashmir. One can know it from any Kashmiri.
Irked over his allegations, Usman Majid said, “I strongly object to whatever Noor Mohammad said. I will move a privilege motion against him.”
Later, he said, “MLA Batmaloo has to apologise otherwise I will move privilege motion against him.”
After PDP MLA, Abdul Majeed Paddar tendered an apology on behalf of Noor Mohammad, when the House proceedings started again, Speaker Kavinder Gupta said, “Why you (Opposition) are not allowing the house run smoothly? You are raising slogans like ‘Kashmir Banega Pakistan’ which is highly objectionable on the part of elected legislators.”
Devender Rana and Rigzin Zora from opposition along with other legislators took strong exception of Speaker alleging them (Opposition) of raising the objectionable slogans and made it clear that they were raising slogans like “PDP Ka Kaya Farman, Kashmir Banega Kabristan and PDP Ke Kaya Pehachan Kashmir Banega Nagpur” which were misinterpreted by the Chair.
When Rigzin Jora, Rana, Sheikh Ishfaq Jabbar, Ali Mohammad Sagar and other legislators sought to know from Speaker about the person who raised such slogans, Speaker said, “It was Rigzin Jora.”
Irked over Speaker’s allegations, Jora stood on the reporting table and said, “You (Speaker) are anti-national, not me. I never raised such slogans.”
While the House was adjourned by the Speaker, the Opposition National Conference convened a mock Assembly within the Well of the House with former Speaker and MLA Mubarak Gul in the Chair. The Members raised questions and the ‘Speaker’ issued rulings. One of the NC Members said that mock House was convened to protest Speaker’s decision of adjouring the House.

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