MLAs walk out of Assembly; hundreds court arrest in Srinagar

Protesting the fidayeen attack on a CRPF camp and holding the Kashmir Valley-based National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party responsible for “encouraging the terrorists and demoralising the security forces,” hundreds of BJP workers courted arrest on Thursday. The party demanded dismissal of the Omar Abdullah-led coalition government.

Shouting slogans against what it called the “terror-friendly” parties and the “Afzal Guru Sarkar,” the BJP took out a rally through the business nerve centre of Residency Road and Raghunath Bazaar here. It was stopped by the police with a baton charge when the processionists attempted to cross barriers and proceed to the Civil Secretariat and Jammu and Kashmir Legislature complex. Among the arrested are a number of leaders, including MLAs Ashok Khajuria and Jugal Kishore.

Earlier, the BJP, the National Panthers Party (NPP) and the Jammu State Morcha (JSM) walked out the Assembly, holding the Kashmir-based parties responsible for “glorification of terror.”

As Deputy Speaker Sartaj Madni declared the proceedings open, CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami demanded a statement on Wednesday’s killing of a civilian, allegedly by the CRPF here.

Mr. Madni assured the House that the government would come up with a statement but the unrelenting members of the BJP, the NPP and the JSM shouted with one voice that politicians from Kashmir had their concerns limited to “the terrorists.” They emphasized that none of the politicians from the Valley had mourned the five paramilitary personnel killed in Wednesday’s fidayeen strike in Srinagar. Soon they raised high-pitch slogans, condemning “anti-national legislators and political parties.”