Uproar in J&K Assembly over Afzal Guru clemency

Uproarious scenes were witnessed in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, Wednesday, over a resolution seeking clemency for death row convict Afzal Guru.

Srinagar: A slugfest of accusations between
ruling Congress and opposition BJP led to adjournment of Jammu
and Kashmir Assembly for the day as the resolution seeking
clemency for Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru could not be
taken up for discussion.

Assembly Speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone adjourned the House
for the day as BJP and Congress members stormed the Well while
trading charges against each other.

BJP and National Panthers Party (NPP) members took to
their feet as soon as the House assembled for the day`s

They demanded that the resolution seeking clemency for
Guru, which was listed in the business for today, be dropped
from the list.

Shouting slogans against the resolution, the BJP and
Panthers members said it was "anti-national" to discuss the
matter as Guru had been sentenced to death by the Supreme
Court in the Parliament attack case.

Congress legislators, including ministers, also rose from
their seats, demanding expulsion of the BJP MLAs who were
allegedly involved in cross-voting during the Legislative
Council elections earlier this year.

While Congress ministers continued to stand at their
seats, the party legislators stormed the Well of the House.

All pleas of the Speaker to restore order
in the House failed and prompted first adjournment for 30

As soon as the House reassembled, both BJP and Congress
members repeated the scenes witnessed earlier in the day
forcing the Speaker to adjourn the proceedings for another

When the proceedings resumed at 12 noon, Congress members
again demanded that Speaker name the BJP MLAs who were
expelled from the party for cross-voting.

Infuriated by the Congress demand, the BJP members
started shouting slogans demanding those involved in the 2006
sex scandal case should be expelled from the House.

Both BJP and Congress MLAs, other than ministers, stormed
into the Well of the House and nearly came to blows.

Irked by the disruptions, Independent MLA Shiekh Abdul
Rashid, who had submitted the resolution, also stormed into
the Well and kicked the fans and tables.

As the situation began to go out of control, the Speaker
adjourned the House for the day.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said it was unfortunate that
House proceedings were disrupted. "We would have liked that
the business of the day is taken up as per norms," he said.

Reacting to accusation of Opposition PDP that the
disruptions were stage-managed by the state government, he
said it showed the thinking of the party.

Asked about his party`s stand if the resolution had been
taken up, Omar said, "We were told by the party president
(Farooq Abdullah) to vote according to our conscience as it
was a private member`s resolution."

Earlier, Mehbooba Mufti said the "drama" in the Assembly
was directed by National Conference while Congress and BJP
were its actors.

Another PDP leader, Muzaffar Hussain Beigh, said the
issue was raised first by the Chief Minister through his tweet
about Tamil Nadu Assembly passing a resolution for convicts in
the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

"After igniting the debate, he should have taken a
stand," he said.

Rashid told reporters political parties in the state
Assembly were sabotaging the resolution seeking clemency for
Guru at the behest of the Central government.

"They are sabotaging my resolution on Afzal Guru. They
are doing it at the behest of New Delhi... All of them are
involved including PDP whose members remained silent," Rashid

The resolution seeking clemency for Guru, who is on death
row for his role in the attack on the Parliament in December
2001, was submitted to the Speaker by Rashid on September 2.


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