Gujarat staged killings rock parliament again


New Delhi : Parliament was rocked again Tuesday over the 2005 staged killing of a Muslim couple by Gujarat police with various political parties demanding a discussion on the matter, leading to repeated adjournment of both houses.

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The Lok Sabha was adjourned twice following disruptions by members demanding a discussion. The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day after Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat disallowed a discussion on the Gujarat issue first, but allowed Leader of Opposition Jaswant Singh to raise a Kashmir matter instead.

The Lok Sabha was adjourned for an hour just five minutes after it met as Speaker Somnath Chatterjee found it difficult to control the agitated Samajwadi Party, Left and Congress members, who sought permission to speak on the subject.

"The encounters against Muslims were apparently done on the instructions of the chief minister (Narendra Modi). The former state intelligence chief had said the encounters were being done to please Modi," Samajwadi Party's Ramjilal Suman said.

The MP was referring to an interview given by R.B. Sreekumar, former additional director general in-charge of the intelligence wing in Gujarat, to IANS in which he claimed that the cold-blooded murders were "an attempt to create a sympathy wave in favour of the chief minister whenever his leadership was questioned".

Mohammed Salim of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and Madhusudan Mistry of the Congress also wanted to raise the issue.

Chatterjee pleaded with them to raise the matter during zero hour, but the MPs insisted and the Samajwadi Party members stomped to the well of the house, forcing the speaker to adjourn proceedings till 12 p.m.

When the house met at noon, similar scenes were witnessed and the house was adjourned till 2 p.m.

While the Lok Sabha went ahead with its business in the afternoon, the uproar over the issue continued in the Rajya Sabha, leading to its adjournment for the day.

The upper house was adjourned amid acrimonious scenes when the Congress and Left MPs protested the chairman's decision to allow Jaswant Singh to raise the "anti-India remarks by Kashmir separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani".

They insisted that they too be allowed to raise the Gujarat issue for which they had given notice.

Shekawat said the chair's decision was final, but the MPs contested it. He then adjourned the house for the day.

On Monday too, proceedings of both houses were disrupted over the same issue.

Meanwhile, Mistry, an MP from Gujarat, has written to Home Minister Shivraj Patil seeking central intervention to prevent what he termed as a threat to kill Gujarat IPS officer D.G. Vanzara, who along with two other officers was arrested for the engineered killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife.

The Congress had alleged that there was a move in Gujarat to get Vanzara killed and put the blame on Muslims in order to rake up communal riots ahead of assembly elections, due in December this year.

In the letter, a copy of which was sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Mistry asked the central government "to nullify completely any such design of polarising society in Gujarat".