The violence in Mumbai in reaction to riots in Assam created turmoil in Parliament for the second day today with the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party demanding central intervention and a judicial probe into the incidents.
The issue generated heat in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, with the Shiv Sena and the BJP making common cause over the issue. Congress hit back at the Sena alleging it was attempting to provoke people through articles in its mouthpiece Saamna.
However, it was embarrassment for the BJP and the Shiv Sena in the Rajya Sabha with the key NDA ally JD(U) taking them to task for “communal remarks”.
The Lok Sabha, which adjourned on the issue yesterday, saw Sena leader Anant Geete alleging a conspiracy behind the violence saying those indulging in the incidents wanted to spread trouble across the country.
Referring to the reported statement of Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan suspecting foreign hand, he said the State government had “completely failed” to check the violence and there was need for the Centre to intervene as people are living in fear.
“It is necessary for the Central government to intervene now,” he said, adding it was unfortunate that Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had not made any statement on the matter though the violent incidents have been continuing for the past three days.
In the Rajya Sabha, BJP member Balbir Punj and Sena’s Sanjay Raut slammed the organisers of the agitation in Mumbai, saying they had no sympathy for native Bodos of Assam but supported the “foreign infiltrators“.
Since what he said in the House was inaudible in the din, Mr Raut later said he demanded a judicial probe into the incidents, ban on Raza Academy for organising the rally and cases of treason against those who damaged the martyr’s memorial at Azad Maidan.
Mr Raut questioned the relationship between the perpetrators of violence in Maharashtra and communal incidents in Bangladesh and Myanmar “that they are burning Mumbai for it.”
Mr Punj also asked how people in Mumbai could be responsible for violence in Myanmar.
The remarks drew sharp reaction from NDA ally JD(U)’s leader Shivanand Tiwari who demanded that such “language of the footpath” and “communal remarks” should be expunged from the records.
Mr Raut alleged that Raza Academy had organised similar rallies earlier in which people have been killed.
The issue generated heat in the Upper House leading to its adjournment for 10 minutes.
In the Lok Sabha, T Meinya, a Congress MP from Manipur, said the incidents in Assam and their repercussions in States like Maharashtra were a very serious matter. He said people from Northeast are being targeted in places like Pune and wanted the Home Ministry to issue advisory to States on handling such issues.
Such situations have to be handled carefully, he said, adding that the unity and the integrity of the nation would have to be maintained.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said the Home Minister would make a statement in the House in the next few days.
Congress member Sanjay Nirupam termed the violence as “shameful and tragic” and said the entire process of investigation should be handled in a sensitive manner so that innocents were not prosecuted.