3 Jammu Youth Storm Into JK Assembly

3 Jammu Youth Storm Into JK Assembly

8 October 2012
Kashmir Observer
Nazir Ganaie

Srinagar: While the raging LPG crisis and the killing of elected village heads have rocked the Legislative Assembly since the start of its current session, three youth from Jammu on Monday disrupted its proceedings by suddenly jumping into the well of the House, demanding implementation of “employment policy.” The three youth - Manish Khajuria, Sunny Malhotra and Ambedkar Gupta - were overpowered by Assembly marshals and taken into custody on the directive of the speaker, Muhammad Akbar Lone. The youth, who had got passes on the request of expelled BJP member, Jagdish Raj Sapolia, to witness the proceedings from the public gallery, unfurled the flag of a newly-floated party, J-K Democratic Front. They raised slogans demanding implementation of “employment policy” in the state. The speaker immediately ordered investigation into how the youth got into the assembly. Proceedings of the House were disrupted for a short while due to the incident. At the end of the question hour, the speaker directed initiation of proceedings against the “offenders” and Sapolia, who he identified as “their abettor.” Lone termed the incident as contempt of the House. Sapolia and six other BJP MLAs were expelled from the party on charges of cross-voting during the Legislative Council polls in March last year. The BJP had asked the speaker to disqualify these members but they continue to attend the House as they have filed a writ petition in the High Court. The chief minister, Omar Abdullah, said the youth came with legitimate passes issued by an MLA, who was present in the House when the “drama took place.” “So, it is important that while we condemn this disruption, we don’t certainly need to blow it out of proportion,” Omar said. “The law will follow its own course and as ordered by the speaker, the Assembly secretariat will do what it has to do,” he said. The chief minister said he was not sure which employment policies the detained youths were talking about, and added, “There are a number of employment policies which are being implemented or are in various stages of implementation in the state.” “Unemployment continues to be a problem. No one denies that. There are more than six lakh unemployed youth with various educational qualifications...unemployment perhaps is the second largest problem in the state for maintenance of security and law and order,” he said. Sapolia wanted to make a statement in the House about the incident but the Speaker refused him permission saying “you appear before the concerned authority.” Talking to reporters outside the Assembly, the MLA said it was a breach of trust of the youth and condemned their acts. “I had no knowledge of what they were going to do. It was a breach of trust , faith and I condemn the incident,”. Sapolia said. He said he was ready to apologise to the house for its contempt committed by these youth. Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) MLA Muzaffar Hussain Beigh condemned the incident saying it was contempt of the House. Chaudhury Mohammad Ramzan of National Conference also condemned the incident saying a thorough investigation should be carried out into the antecedents of the youth as they were reportedly staying in a room at the MLA hostel. The Speaker said he will order an investigation as to who were staying in the MLA hostels in Jammu and Srinagar. “I have information that they were brought into the assembly in Sapolia’s gypsy (vehicle),” he added. Political Leaders Condemn, Call it Security Breach In JK Assembly Political leaders on Monday condemned the pandemonium that erupted in the Jammu and Kashmir assembly as two youth suddenly jumped in the well of the House and raised slogans demanding implementation of employment policy. Senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Tariq Anwar said that nobody has the right to undermine the sanctity of the assembly. 'It is very unfortunate that something like that has happened and nobody can undermine the sanctity of the state legislature. The speaker has already issued instruction against whosoever is responsible and I think it is very unfortunate,' said Anwar. Meanwhile, People Democratic Party (PDP) leader Nizamuddin Bhat said that his party would not back the cause of the protesters as they had disrupted the sanctity of the house. 'After the speaker issued a statement in the house, we don't want to comment on it. We do not believe that the people who breached security and entered the assembly were actually facing problems due to unemployment or had come to stand for the unemployed youth. We would have stood by them if they represented the masses, however we would still not allow them to interrupt proceedings of the house and protest in the manner they did,' said Bhat. The duo was held by house marshals and dragged outside the assembly. Media reports suggest that investigation is on to determine how they entered the assembly and if they belong to any political party Police Says Meanwhile talking to the Kashmir Observer, superintendent of police (Security), Masood-uz- Zaman, said, “This issue has nothing to do with the security issue. When the concerned MLA had issued them (youth) formal passes, we were bound to allow them in. Our job was to see the credentials and frisk them, which we perfectly did.”