Delhi

2 protesters disrupt House session, sent to 1-month jail

Shouted slogans demanding resignation of PWD Minister

The Delhi Assembly on Wednesday saw high-pitch drama as two visitors hurled pamphlets, raised slogans demanding resignation of a Minister, and were then allegedly thrashed by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs before being sentenced to a month in jail by the Speaker for “breach of privilege”.

The two men, who were in the visitors’ gallery overlooking the well of the House, stood up around 40 minutes into the proceedings of the two-day session and began shouting.

They accused Health and Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Satyendar Jain of corruption and demanded his resignation. They then threw pamphlets detailing charges of corruption against Mr. Jain.

The duo was dragged away by security staff.

The protesters were later identified as Jagdeep Rana and Rajan Kumar. As per their pamphlets, they were AAP workers. Mr. Rana had also been the AAP candidate for Adarsh Nagar in the 2013 Assembly elections.

‘Beaten up’

Though Speaker Ram Niwas Goel instructed MLAs to stay put, Nitin Tyagi, Amanatullah Khan and Jarnail Singh ran out of the House and got into a tussle with the protesters. The two were beaten up before they were taken to a hospital.

When the House reconvened after an adjournment, Greater Kailash MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj brought a motion against the two for breach of privilege, which was passed unanimously.

The Speaker then ordered the two to be jailed for a month.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was not present at the time of the incident and joined the session later.

Question over how the two had entered the visitors’ gallery, which requires a pass signed by an MLA, were raised. Speaking in the House, Mr. Goel said that no MLA had signed their entry pass and it appeared that a phone call was made to allow them entry.

“We will conduct an inquiry to find out how they entered. Any official found responsible would face action,” Mr. Goel said after the session.

Though the two BJP MLAs in the House, Manjinder Singh Sirsa and Jagdish Pradhan, supported the jail term for the protesters, Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari hit out against the AAP for “violence and anarchy” in the Assembly.

“The violence seen today after a small incident of democratic protest shows that the Arvind Kejriwal government is averse to any protest,” Mr. Tiwari said.

The Congress, too, condemned the punishment.

Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken said that the “harsh punishment” handed out to the two men was “against the spirit of democratic values”.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 7:20:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/2-protesters-disrupt-house-session-sent-to-1-month-jail/article19167232.ece

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