Assembly observes 2-minute silence in memory of Sunjwan victims

Oppn MLAs stage walkout as Budget Session ends


JAMMU, Feb 12: The Assembly today observed a two-minute silence in memory of five Army personnel and a civilian who were killed in a terror strike on the Sunjwan Army camp here.
A group of Jaish-e-Mohammmad terrorists struck the residential quarter of the sprawling camp in the early hours on Saturday and killed five army personnel and the father of one of the slain jawans, besides injuring 10 others including six women and children.
Three JeM terrorists were gunned down.
National Conference MLA Devender Singh Rana invited the attention of the chair towards the terror attack and suggested for a two-minute silence to pay tributes to those killed.
Accepting the request of the member, Speaker Kavinder Gupta asked for observance of the two-minute silence.
Soon after the House assembled this morning, NC member Mian Altaf sought a detailed statement from the government on the terror strike on the Army camp.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Abdul Rehman Veeri said the operation at Sunjwan was in its final stage.
Assembly's Budget Session here ended on a bitter note as opposition Congress, NC and CPI(M) members, barring one MLA, walked out from the House, accusing the Speaker Kavinder Gupta of being biased.
Opposition members except National Conference (NC) MLA Mohammad Akbar Lone walked out of the House amid Gupta's concluding remarks, alleging that the speaker was acting like a spokesman of the government, the BJP and the RSS.
Lone, whose 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogan on Saturday led to an uproar in the House, remained seated as his colleagues along with CPI(M) MLA M Y Tarigami and Congress members walked out.
Interrupting the speaker during his speech, Tarigami said "I am requesting that you are not a presiding officer of a particular party. The budget was passed by the House and there is no need to repeat it."
"The speaker is the custodian of the house and should behave like a non-party person," he said.
Congress Legislature party leader Nawang Rigzin Jora also reacted sharply and asked the speaker "not to behave like he spokesman of the government."
Later talking to reporters outside the House, NC general secretary and MLA Ali Mohammad Sagar said that the speaker had vindicated his party's apprehension that he was "biased and acting like a member of BJP and RSS" which he should not.
"Being a speaker he should be very impartial and it should look from his actions. His speech in the House was like he was reading the agenda of the the BJP and RSS. Naturally, we have no course but to walk out to lodge our strong protest against the speaker," he said.
However, the NC leader supported the speech of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti that dialogue with Pakistan is the only way forward.
Sagar said that she was right in saying that those who talk about dialogue are dubbed as "anti-national" which is wrong.
"She endorsed the statement of (NC president) Farooq Abdullah and (NC working president) Omar Abdullah that dialogue is the way forward and nothing will be achieved by killings, operations and crackdowns.
"It is the stand and agenda of the party that dialogue holds the key for honourable solution of Kashmir issue," he said.
Earlier in his speech, the speaker said he felt honoured to be given the post after getting elected for the first time.
"I made a sincere effort to uphold to fulfil my responsibility which you all know," Gupta said.
He read out a message from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought support for various reforms and central initiatives to ensure 'Sab ka saath, Sab ka vikas'
Gupta also hailed Mehbooba as the first woman chief minister of the state and talked about the initiatives her government has taken to counter the proxy war and carry forward the developmental projects.
The Legislative Council today saw uproar and protests by BJP members who demanded slapping of an FIR and suspension of senior NC lawmaker Mohammad Akbar Lone for raising a pro-Pakistan slogan in the state Assembly.
BJP members later staged a walkout from the House.
As Legislative Council met for the day, BJP members raised the issue and demanded an apology from the NC leader.
BJP MLCs Surinder Ambardar and Vikram Randawa said it was not a minor issue and demanded a statement from the National Conference asking it to clear its stand on the action against its member.
They also demanded an FIR under sedition charges against the member who was present in the house and stayed silent.
The BJP members said that Lone had taking oath in the name of Indian Constitution and had raised pro-Pak slogans.
"BJP demands an apology from the NC MLA and an FIR should be registered against him. He should be suspended for sedition," Ambardar said.
NC members countered the BJP saying that Lone's remarks had been expunged and the party had disassociated from the slogan.
Legislative Council Chairman Anayat Ali said "we cannot do anything in this as he is a member of the Lower House and not a member of this House".
On this, the BJP members carrying banners walked into the Well of the House and then staged a walkout.
Talking to reporters outside, Ambardar said it was unbecoming of a lawmaker to raise pro-Pak slogans when he has taken oath under the Constitution of India.
"NC leadership, Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, should clarify their stand and remove the member from the party for raising pro-Pak slogans in Assembly. By this act National Conference has again assumed its old title of Muslim Conference," Ambardar said.
Speaker Legislative Assembly, Kavinder Gupta, in exercise of powers conferred upon him under Rule 16 of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly today adjourned the House sine-die after 27-day Budget Session.
In his brief speech, the Speaker expressed gratitude to the members, including Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, Parliamentary Affairs Minister, A R Veeri, Leader of the Opposition, Omar Abdullah for their cooperation for smooth conduct of Business in the House. He maintained that being first timer as Member of the House, he had the opportunity to become the Speaker of this august House and learnt things gradually and with the cooperation of all parties he tried to do justice with all Members to give them adequate time for the debate.
Chairman, Legislative Council, Hajji Anyat Ali in exercise of the Powers conferred on him under Rule-16 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Jammu & Kashmir today adjourned the House sine die.
In his brief speech, the Chairman expressed gratitude to all the members for conducting the House in a smooth manner. He informed that 403 Starred Questions were received from the members, out of which 356 Questions were taken up. Accordingly 189 Un Starred Questions were received out of which 169 were taken up during the session. He said that 4 Short Term Questions were received of which 2 were taken up. Likewise 13 Private Members' Resolutions were received of which 7 were discussed in the House.
He further informed that 27 Resolutions were received, of which 13 were taken up for discussion and two Resolutions were passed.

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