The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly was on Tuesday adjourned sine die amidst strong protests by Opposition PDP demanding a discussion on the death of a National Conference worker allegedly in police custody last week.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) MLAs had moved a fresh adjournment motion notice demanding that the House should debate the death of Syed Mohammad Yousuf on September 30 as there were allegations of the Chief Minister’s office being involved in it.
However, Speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone rejected the PDP demand saying there was nothing new in their notice than the one rejected by him on Monday.
“A discussion on the matter is hardly justified at this stage and can prove counter-productive as the state government has requested the Chief Justice of the J&K High Court to appoint a sitting High Court judge to probe the matter,” Mr. Lone said.
Angry PDP members stormed the Well of the House, raising slogans protesting against the Speaker’s decision. Initially, the Opposition members were demanding discussion into Yousuf’s death but as the Speaker did not allow them even to speak, they started protesting against the Chair.
Quoting newspaper reports, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said a discussion had become “extremely inevitable” claiming that the High Court had refused to entertain the state government’s request for conducting a probe by a sitting judge.
However, the Speaker remained steadfast on his decision that no issue which is sub-judice can be discussed in the House.
Senior PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig contested the Speaker’s ruling saying if the 2G scam can be debated in Parliament while being heard by the Supreme Court, why this matter cannot be taken up by the Assembly.
National Panthers Party (NPP) leader Harsh Dev Singh and CPI(M) MLA M.Y. Tarigami supported the demand for discussion in the House.
“The matter is not yet under the purview of judicial inquiry as the same has not been established yet. There should be no hesitation in discussing the issue,” Singh said.
Mr. Tarigami said if Chief Minister Omar Abdullah can make a statement on the issue outside the Assembly and government officials can brief the press on the case, why cannot the House be taken into confidence.
As the commotion continued, the Speaker went about the business which included passage of two bills before adjourning the House sine die.
Tuesday was the last day of the Autumn Session. The Assembly is likely to meet in Jammu next year for the Budget Session.
Talking to reporters, the PDP chief reiterated the demand for resignation of the Chief Minister, his MoS Home Nasir Aslam Wani and Union Minister Farooq Abdullah saying every attempt was being made to hush up the case.
“It is about murder for money. There are contradictions in the government actions ... On one hand they say they have ordered judicial inquiry, on the other, it is reported that the inquiry will be conducted by an additional district magistrate,” she said.