The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for almost all of Friday as agitated Samajwadi Party (SP) members sought to raise the issue of three Muslim policemen in Maharashtra being asked to shave off their beards.
The trouble began during zero hour as a Samajwadi Party MP got up waving copies of a media report that the police chief of Beed district in Maharashtra had told three policemen that they could not keep the beard without their superiors' permission.
Congress members had their own issue. MPs waved the latest issue of the news magazine Tehelka in which former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah alleged it was at the instance of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his deputy LK Advani that dreaded terrorist Maulana Masood Azhar was released for the passengers of an Indian Airlines jet hijacked to Kandahar in December 1999.
As MPs from both sides continued raising slogans, Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat adjourned the house till 12.30 p.m. When the tumult continued even after that, the house was again adjourned till 2 p.m. There were two more adjournments after that till 5 p.m.