Sitting in public gallery, they jump into members’ area demanding job policy
The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly on Monday witnessed unruly scenes with three youths suddenly jumping into the members’ area and demanding implementation of an employment policy.
Manish Khajuria, Sunny Malhotra and Ambedkar Gupta were overpowered by House marshals and placed under arrest on the orders of Speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone.
The youths, who had got passes on the request of expelled BJP member Jagdish Raj Sapolia to witness the proceedings from the public gallery, displayed the flag of a newly floated party, J-K Democratic Front. They raised slogans demanding the implementation of a job policy.
The Speaker ordered an investigation into how the youths got into the House.
House proceedings were disrupted for some time.
After question hour, the Speaker directed initiation of proceedings against the “offenders” and Mr. Sapolia, whom he identified as “their abettor.” Mr. Lone termed the incident contempt of the House.
Mr. Sapolia and six other BJP MLAs were expelled from the party on charges of cross-voting during the Legislative Council polls last year. The BJP had asked the Speaker to disqualify these members but they continue to attend the House as they had filed a petition in the High Court.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said the youths came with legitimate passes issued by an MLA, who was present in the House when the “drama took place.”
“So, it is important that while we condemn this disruption, we don’t certainly need to blow it out of proportion. The law will follow its own course and as ordered by the Speaker, the Assembly Secretariat will do what it has to do. We are not sure what policies they are talking about because there are a number of employment policies that are being implemented or are in various stages of implementation,” he said.
“Unemployment continues to be a problem. No one denies that. There are more than six lakh unemployed youth with various educational qualifications ... unemployment perhaps is the second largest problem in the State for maintenance of security and law and order,” he said.
Mr. Sapolia wanted to make a statement in the House about the incident but the Speaker refused him permission saying, “You appear before the authority concerned.”
Talking to reporters outside the Assembly, he said: “I had no knowledge of what they were going to do. It was a breach of trust and I condemn the incident.” He was ready to apologise to the House, he added.
Peoples Democratic Party MLA Muzaffar Hussain Beigh condemned the incident, saying it was contempt of the House.
Chaudhury Mohammad Ramzan of the National Conference said an investigation should be carried out into the antecedents of the youth as they were reportedly staying in the MLA hostel.
The Speaker said he would order an investigation into who were staying in the MLA hostels in Jammu and Srinagar. “I have information that they were brought into the Assembly in Mr. Sapolia’s gypsy [vehicle],” he added. — PTI