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Uproar in Kashmir assembly over Afzal Guru resolution


Srinagar : A Jammu and Kashmir assembly resolution seeking clemency for 2001 parliament attack convict Afzal Guru has lapsed, speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone said Wednesday after a day of bedlam.

The resolution could not be taken up for discussion Wednesday because of clashes between the treasury and opposition members, and it was originally stated that the resolution would now sail into the next session.

But speaker Lone clarified later that the resolution had actually lapsed, and its fate now hinged on its mover, Engineer Rashid, a legislator from north Kashmir.

If it is moved again, Lone said he would examine it to decide whether or not to admit it.

Earlier, a vocal clash between Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members led to three adjournments of the assembly, the last one for the day, because of which the Afzal Guru resolution could not be taken up.

Congress and BJP members jostled with one another near Lone’s podium over alleged corruption by BJP members who had voted against the party whip during the last legislative council elections.

“You are converting this house into a fish market,” a furious Lone admonished them as they shouted slogans and hurled papers at each other.

Frustrated, Lone adjourned the house till Thursday.

Legislators from both the BJP and Congress were against tabling the mercy plea resolution.

The first round of disruption led to a half hour adjournment. When the house met again, unrelenting BJP members smashed furniture and mikes.

Their slogan was: “Anti-national resolution ko wapas karo, wapas karo!” (Take back the anti-national resolution). The house adjourned for another hour.

Rashid was locked in heated exchanges with BJP and National Panthers Party members.

Addressing the media later, Rashid said: “It was a written script to which the (ruling) National Conference, the Congress, the BJP and the People’s Democratic Party played.

“It was a well-planned conspiracy to ensure that the clemency resolution is not put to vote. They did not even have the moral courage to oppose my resolution. They simply staged a drama inside the assembly.

“The PDP has also been a party to this drama. They did not utter a single word to have the resolution discussed. All of them are agents and puppets of New Delhi,” he added.

The PDP had announced it would support the resolution.

National Conference met Tuesday evening at the residence of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to decide whether or not to support the resolution.

“It was decided that members should vote according to their conscience,” a party leader told IANS.

The National Conference has 28 members, Congress 16, PDP 21, BJP 11 and National Panthers Party 3. The CPI-M and Jammu State Morcha have a member each in the 87-seat assembly. There are seven independents.