September 28th, 2011
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J&K assembly in ruckus on Afsal clemency resolution

Afsal GuruSrinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly remained divided over a resolution seeking clemency for death row convict Afzal Guru. The speaker was forced to adjourn the assembly twice as the house was in perfect pandemonium and all attempts by the speaker, Mohammad Akbar Lone to pacify the house failed.

A resolution seeking clemency for Afsal Guru who has been sentenced to death for his role the December 2001 attack on Parliament was submitted by Engineer Rashid, an independent MLA in the 87-member state legislative Assembly.

Opposition MLAs, primarily from the Jammu region, stormed into the well of the house demanding that the resolution should not be tabled in the House and taken up for discussion. National Conference, headed by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, has asked its members to vote “according to their conscience.”

The main opposition party, Mehbooba Mufti’s PDP, backs the resolution.The BJP and National Panthers Party (NPP) MLAs took to their feet as soon as the House assembled for the day’s proceedings for they hold the view that the Assembly has no power to discuss the verdict apex court of the country.

“What we believe is this resolution cannot be taken up for discussion. This is an issue on which the Supreme Court has already given its verdict and the assembly has no powers to take action over the judgement of the apex court of the country besides rule 180 states that any matter that is pending before an authority cannot be taken up for discussion,” BJP spokesperson told the media.

“They are sabotaging my resolution on Afzal Guru. They are doing it at the behest of New Delhi… All of them are involved including PDP whose members remained silent,” Mr. Rashid claimed.

“It (the uproar in the House) was engineered on the directions of New Delhi. Let me warn the Government of India that by doing this, they digging their graves in Kashmir,” he said.

The MLA said it was not a coincidence that the timing of the Assembly was reduced by two hours and five call attention motions and two resolutions were inserted in the business ahead of the discussion over the resolution. “It was done to ensure that this resolution cannot be taken up for discussion,” he alleged.


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