Mikes uprooted, a fan hurled and house papers torn... the Jammu
and Kashmir assembly descended into chaos Monday as the People's
Democratic Party (PDP) took up the alleged custodial death of a
ruling National Conference (NC) worker and the speaker and an
opposition leader traded abuses.
The ugly scenes forced three adjournments of the assembly, the
last one for the day. A sombre Chief Minister Omar Abdullah could
be seen watching the goings-on silently.
The trouble started in the morning as the assembly session started
when PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti sought an adjournment of the house.
She wanted the house to suspend question hour and start a debate
on the alleged custodial killing of Haji Muhammad Yusuf on Sep 30.
"A discussion on the matter is hardly justified at this stage and
can prove counter-productive as state government has requested the
chief justice to appoint a sitting high court judge to probe the
matter," Speaker Muhammad Akbar Lone maintained.
Later, the speaker got into a heated argument with Molvi Ifftekhar
Hussain Ansari of the PDP over the issue when the house witnessed
unprecedented scenes of unparliamentary behaviour.
The speaker adjourned the house initially twice and as the house
met after the second adjournment, the speaker said he regretted
the earlier happening in the house.
PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig wanted to raise some points over
speaker's rejection but the members of the treasury benches
including several ministers rose from their seats in protest
forcing the second adjournment.
When the house assembled for the third time, the speaker expressed
regret over his remarks against Ansari and directed that these be
expunged from the records of the assembly.
"I regret what happened in the beginning. I have close relations
with Ansari sahib and he has led me in prayers. The remarks be
expunged from the record and media is requested not to carry the
remarks," Lone said.
PDP president Mufti told reporters that the finger of suspicion in
the alleged custodial killing pointed to the chief minister, his
father, union minister Farooq Abdullah, and junior home minister
Nasir Aslam Wani.
"What has come to light is that Omar became the interrogator, the
judge and the executioner. A fair probe is not possible while they
are in power," Mufti said.
National Panthers Party legislator Balwant Singh Makotia demanded
a CBI probe into the mysterious death of Yusuf.
When the house assembled after the third adjournment, PDP
legislators again stood up demanding that their leader and former
deputy chief minister Baig be allowed to make a statement in the
When the speaker did not allow this, the PDP members stormed
towards the speaker's podium shouting slogans like, "Katilon Ko
Pesh Karo, Pesh Karo (Present the killers)".
As the chaos continued, the speaker adjourned the assembly for the
Yusuf, a land dealer from south Kashmir's Bijbehara town, died
last week Friday, allegedly in police custody. He had been
detained for questioning along with two other middle-rung leaders
of the party, who alleged that Yusuf had taken a bribe of Rs.1.18
crore from them for getting one a minister's post and the other a
The government said Yusuf had died in the local police hospital
due to a heart attack.
The PDP, however, alleges that Yusuf died under mysterious
circumstances after he was called to the house of the chief
minister to explain his position.