Opposition PDP criticised the Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday for the alleged use of pepper gas by the police against protestors in the Valley and staged a walkout demanding a ban on the practice.
As the assembly started proceedings this morning, PDP leaders Basharat Bukhari, Mansoor Hussain and Javed Mustafa Mir stood up from their benches and raised the demand.
They claimed that pepper gas was causing severe ailments like asthma due to its large scale use against protestors, citing the case of one Hajira Begum, an asthma patient, who allegedly died after inhaling the gas in Srinagar recently.
PDP members demanded discussions and statement from the government.
However, speaker Mubarak Gul resumed the Question Hour and the PDP continued protests for some time, before finally walking out of the house.
Speaking to media outside the House, leader of opposition Mehbooba Mufti said the government was misusing pepper gas on protestors and demanded withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.
CPI(M) member MY Tarigami, when questioned over the issue, said a resolution should be brought in the House for its passage on revocation of AFSPA from the state.
"If the government is serious, they should bring the resolution," he said.
After PDP members returned to the House, the Speaker asked the concerned minister to make a statement on the issue.
Replying on the issue, law minister Mir Saifullah, on the behest of the home minister said the police had been given directions not to trouble people.
However, he said there have been some problems faced by people in view of law and order disturbances, but the government was committed to ensuring that no such problems are faced by the people while dealing with protestors.