A day after his resolution seeking clemency for Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru lapsed in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly amid unruly scenes, Independent MLA Sheikh Abdur Rashid was detained by the police and 25 of his supporters were arrested on Thursday when he sat outside the House in protest.
In the meantime, the Assembly was adjourned amid chaos and confusion, as Congress members demanded that the suspended members of the Bharatiya Janata Party be barred from attending the House.
People's Democratic Party members locked horns with the Speaker over his objectionable remarks against their leader Mehbooba Mufti.
As the House assembled for the day, Mr. Rashid, accompanied by his supporters, appeared outside the complex to condemn what he called a “well- orchestrated plan to sabotage my resolution.”
The police detained him on the lawns of the Civil Secretariat and roughed him up, as he resisted. Twenty-five of his supporters were arrested.
Mr. Rashid was later taken to hospital for treatment as he sustained bruises in the neck and then freed.
The resolution could not be taken up on Wednesday as the House was adjourned following uproarious scenes.
Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Rashid blamed the National Conference, the Congress and the PDP for hatching a “calculated conspiracy” to stall the resolution.
“As if [the Chief Minister] Omar Abdullah and [PDP leader] Mehbooba Mufti had come to watch the Sholay movie in the House,” he said. “It is for the first time in the House that Deputy Chief Minister [Tara Chand] and other Congress Ministers were part of the ruckus.”
Mr. Rashid termed a “bold step” Mr. Abdullah's tweet on the resolution the Tamil Nadu Assembly passed in August, seeking clemency for the killers of Rajiv Gandhi, “but he soon succumbed and saw to it that the resolution on Afzal Guru was stalled.”
After the Tamil Nadu Assembly passed the resolution, Mr. Abdullah tweeted: “If J&K Assembly had passed a resolution similar to the Tamil Nadu one for Afzal Guru, would the reaction have been as muted? I think not.”
Lauding Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for getting the resolution through the House, he said: “Even Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi appreciated her.” “Jayalalithaa made it happen and Omar is just tweeting.”
Meanwhile, all Congress MLAs walked out of the House after the Speaker turned down their demand for “unseating” seven BJP members, who have been suspended by their party for their alleged involvement in cross-voting in the election for two seats of the Upper House.
The Speaker told them that one of the MLAs, Chaman Lal Gupta, was expelled from the party and six were suspended. “But I cannot accept your demand since the case is in court,” he said.
The Congress MLAs also demanded an inquiry into the episode.
The Speaker adjourned the House for 15 minutes after the uproar continued, as National Panthers Party leader Harsh Dev Singh came to the well, protesting against the “uncalled for behaviour of the Congress members.”
On the other hand, the PDP members were on their feet to protest the allegedly objectionable remarks made by the Speaker against Ms. Mehbooba Mufti.
“You are indulging in cheap politics,” they charged the Speaker with having told her.
Minister apologises for Speaker
The Speaker said he had not made such remarks, but he still ordered that they be expunged. But Deputy Speaker Sartaj Madni of the PDP sought an apology from the Speaker, who refused to do so. Law Minister Ali Mohammad Sagar intervened and apologised on behalf of the Speaker.