Congress and Trinamool Congress members walked out of a meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) on Home after their demand to deliberate on the ethnic strife in Manipur was denied by the panel Chairperson and BJP MP Brij Lal.
“We stand against such an evasion of responsibility to discuss an issue of national importance and therefore choosing to walk out of the meeting,” three MPs — Trinamool Congress’ Derek O’Brien and Congress members Digvijay Singh and Pradip Bhattacharya — said in a joint letter submitted on Thursday before walking out of the meeting.
Last month, both TMC MP Derek O’ Brien and Congress MP Digvijay Singh had written letters to Mr. Lal, asking him to convene a meeting on Manipur, which was rejected. Responding to their request, Mr. Lal said that the agenda for the meetings scheduled in July had already been fixed and no new issue could be taken.
In Thursday’s meeting, prison reforms in Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh were taken up.
Manipur, the protesting MPs said, is in serious crisis. “Having been a senior police officer yourself, you understand the gravity of the situation. Manipur needs healing and an end to the violence. We as elected representatives cannot look away,” the letter stated.
Ethnic violence broke out in Manipur on May 3, and according to some estimates, 140 persons have died in the strife.