Assam violence, MNS attacks rock Lok Sabha proceedings


New Delhi : The ethnic violence in Assam and the attack on north Indians in Maharashtra rocked proceedings in the Lok Sabha with allies of the government, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Samajwadi Party, urging for a ban on the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and Shiv Sena.

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RJD leader Devendra Prasad Yadav urged the government to ban the two Maharashtra parties for their attacks on north Indians, saying they were a threat to the integrity and unity of the country.

He also said that the party would launch a nation-wide movement if the government failed to control the two organizations.

The Maharashtra government has failed to protect its citizens, Yadav said. “These reclusive fundamentalists should be seriously dealt with,” he said amidst protest from Shiv Sena MPs.

Samajwadi Party leader Ramji Lal Suman also urged the government to take strong action against Raj Thackeray’s MNS.

He said north Indian job aspirants, especially from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, were subjected to brutal attack in more than 13 places in Maharashtra when MNS cadres attacked railway recruitment centres and tore up examination sheets of north Indians. Suman said the MNS could repeat its attacks.

“The Shiv Sena and MNS should be banned. The state government is soft on these parties,” he said.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shahnawaz Hussein charged that the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party-led state government had failed to protect the north Indian examinees.

The house was adjourned at 5 p.m. after the Shiv Sena protested the statements and Tamil Nadu MPs raised the sufferings of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Earlier, the Lok Sabha was adjourned for the second time Monday as Assam MP S.K. Bwiswmuthiary staged a sit-in protest over the ethnic violence in his state that has claimed 49 lives earlier this month.

When Lok Sabha re-assembled at 12 noon, Bwiswmuthiary entered the house holding photographs of the violence in Assam and walked right up to the speaker’s podium. On Friday also, he had protested because the house did not refer to the people killed in clashes in the state.

Violence broke out Oct 3 in the four northern Assam districts of Udalguri, Darrang, Baska, and Chirang after clashes between tribal Bodos and Muslim migrant settlers. Four days of ethnic clashes left 49 people dead and more than 100,000 displaced.

Bwiswmuthiary said Muslims had insulted the indigenous Bodo religion and that a Bodo woman had been gang raped. The speaker then said he would be allowed to speak after the initial proceedings of the house are over. When Bwiswmuthiary got the chance to speak, he attacked the Muslim community and detailed the incidents of violence that shook the region.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) MPs interrupted him and objected to the words used by him. The speaker then asked him to stop his speech and let the house conduct other proceedings.

Bwiswmuthiary marched to the speaker’s podium again and accused the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of being responsible for not checking the violence. He staged a brief sit-in near the podium and there was pandemonium in the house as BJP MPs raised slogans in his support.

Left MPs criticised his actions and the speaker warned him that he would be suspended if he continued to protest. The Assam MP was later led to his seat, but as he continued his protests, the speaker adjourned the house at 12.35 p.m. till 4 p.m.

The Lok Sabha was earlier adjourned till 12 noon after disruptions in the house over the shootout in Jamia Nagar and attacks on north Indians by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) in Mumbai.