BJP threatens ‘Quit Jammu’ movement
13 March 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: The National Conference and the BJP members today clashed in the Legislative Assembly after Mohd Shaffi Bhat (NC) made serious allegations against BJP legislator Ashok Khajuria resulting into exchange of vulgar language from both sides. Meanwhile, the BJP today threatened that it would be forced to give a call to the Kashmiris to ‘Quit Jammu’ if discrimination with Jammu region was not stopped. It said the forces like Jammu Mukti Morcha (JMM), which were supporting the cause of separate statehood for Jammu, were gaining strength. Speaking on the grants of Chief Minister’s Department, Mohd Shaffi Bhat (NC) said a BJP MLA was sleeping on roof of the party headquarters when the polling was being held for Jammu-Poonch Parliamentary seat by-election. ‘Woh Kaun Tha (who was he)''? asked a Congress (I) legislator. ''Woh Ashok Khajuria Tha (he was Ashok Khajuria)'', Bhat shouted loudly in the House triggering protests from the BJP members—Ashok Khajuria and Chowdhary Piara Singh. ''Yeh Indira Gandhi Ke Samne Nanga Nacha Tha (he had danced nude before Indira Gandhi)'', Khajuria countered. Both the sides exchanged vulgar language for a couple of minutes, which was expunged from the records by Deputy Speaker Ghulam Haider Malik, who was in the chair. Ashok Khajuria appealed to the Chair that an inquiry should be conducted as Shaffi Bhat had spoken a lie in the House. Bhat should be made to apologise for the lie, he said. ''Yeh Soya Tha, Yeh Haqeeqat Hai (he was sleeping, this is a fact)'', Bhat insisted. ''I don’t take him (Khajuria) seriously. He speaks here only to show his family that he was capable of shouting'', he said. ''Yeh Paagal Ho Gaya Hai. Ye Logon Se Paise Loot Ta Hai (he has gone mad. he extorts money from the people)'', Khajuria retaliated. Seeing the BJP, NC members clashing, Lal Singh (Congress-I) remarked :''the NDA has split''. Surprisingly, two BJP MLAs—Hans Raj Dogra and Prem Lal remained silent and didn’t come to the rescue of Ashok Khajuria. In his speech on the grants, the BJP Legislature Party leader Lala Shiv Charan Gupta said the issuance of notices to genuine persons by the State Subjects Commission, settling of UP and Bihar Moulvis and continued discrimination with Jammu region could force the BJP to give a call to the Kashmiri rulers to ‘Quit Jammu’ just as Sheikh Abdullah had given the call to Dogras to ‘Quit Kashmir’. ''The forces like Jammu Mukti Morcha are gaining strength. And, if we (the BJP) stand, you will not bee seen here. We are capable of doing that'', the Lala warned in a hard hitting speech. Gupta took serious exception to the serving of notices to about 150 respectable citizens of Jammu by State Subjects Commission including Ved Mehta, brother of former Union Minister Om Mehta, BJP leader and three times MP Prof Chaman Lal Gupta’s brother Romesh Gupta, Gopal Dass Sachar, a veteran journalist, Chowdhary Piara Singh and Hans Raj Dogra, both MLAs. ''The notices are being issued to the respectable persons to harass them while several non-State subjects have encroached upon the Government land'', the Lala said and tabled a list in the House naming some of them. The BJP leader alleged that a citizen paid Rs 20,000 to the Commission to get his notice cancelled. He said a Moulvi of Talab Khatikan Mosque named Salahudin has also obtained an illegal State subject. He alleged that Moulvis from UP and Bihar were running ‘madarsaas’ here and spreading poison among the people. ‘Jo Islaam Ko Naheen Maanta, Woh Kaafir Hai'' like sermons are being given by the Moulvis, he pointed out. NC chief whip Mubarak Gul said the NC Government has restored accountability of the administration and police. ''Earlier, no information was given to the concerned family on the arrests. Now, this is done within 24 hours'', Gul said in his speech on the grants. He noted that this was for the first time that NC Government was completing its full term and attributed this to the policies of Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah. Gul said the people were being harassed by the militants, surrendered militants and, sometimes, the security personnel also. But, our Government acts immediately, he added. ''Our Government has also set up a Human Rights Commission'', Gul said but was immediately told by Sheikh Abdul Rehman (BSP) that it was a ‘toothless commission’ as it has no jurisdiction over the security forces. Gul voiced concern over the killings in Gujarat and Philippines. CPI (M) legislator, Mohammed Yousf Tarigami said the urban areas development should not be done at the cost of the rural people. He said he was not against the progress of the urban areas but at the same time the Government can not ignore the villages, which constitute 80 per cent of our population. He said the foundation stone of a hospital was laid a long back in his constituency but regretted that it had not been constructed till date. He alleged that the corrupt officers are being shielded deliberately. He said every thing is at stand still in Home Department and ‘our police has become lethargic for which the State Government is responsible’. Tarigami suggested that the policemen responsible for breaking the law should be punished. He also demanded justice with the prisoners who have been detained under PSA and demanded increase in the wages of Home Guard jawans. Sadiq Ali (NC) called for a package to the unemployed youths saying there were about 1.50 lakh highly qualified unemployeds, all of whom can’t be adjusted in the Government jobs. He said the Government should evolve a package for the unemployed youths. ''You tell me the kind of package''? the Chief Minister asked. Sadiq Ali replied :''the unemployeds should be given Rs 5 to6 lakh interest free loans for longer period like 15 to 20 years''. Ashok Sharma (Congress-I) alleged that only one tent has been given to each migrant family of Poonch, Rajouri and Doda districts. ''A Government, which can’t even arrange tents for the migrants, has no right to seek the grants'', he said. ''I had briefed Minister of State for Home Khalid Najib Suhrawardhy that 40 militants were moving in Kot Chadwal but no action was taken by the Government, leading to massacre of seven civilians'', he regretted. He voiced concern over the pitiable condition of the SPOs, who were being paid a meager amount of Rs 1500 per month. And, if these SPOs are killed in the anti-militancy operations, they are not owned by police, he said. Describing both the Centre and State Government as ‘non- serious’, Sharma said the assurances given by the Chief Minister are never implemented. ''What happened to the assurance of conferring cabinet status to the Chairman of Leh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC)''? he asked. Sharma alleged that Government has ignored the families of police martyrs including two DySPs Devinder Sharma and Parveen Sharma. ''It’s very very unfortunate that Government was not serious even towards the families of the martyrs''. He demanded a CBI inquiry into the embezzlements in Dal lake. He also sought implementation of Wazir Commission report. Abdul Rehman Veeri (PDP) alleged misuse of police by the State Government for the purpose of rigging. Amidst the slogans of ‘shame, shame’ by the Congress (I) members, Veeri said the policemen had held Presiding Officers hostage in Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha seat election recently and forced them to rig the polls.