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Parliament attack: Homage paid to martyrs

india Updated: Dec 13, 2006 20:00 IST

Parliament on Tuesday paid homage to the nine persons, including eight security personnel, who were killed during Parliament attack on December 13, 2001.

Both Houses observed a minute's silence in the memory of the nine deceased, which included a women CRPF constable. Remembering their sacrifice, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said "Let us rededicate ourselves once again to protect the unity, integrity and sovereignty of our country."

In Rajya Sabha, House Chairman Bhairon Singh Sekhawat said recalled the heroic deeds of the nine and said that they had made the ultimate sacrifice while defending the "temple of democracy."

Later in the Rajya Sabha, the Shiv Sena-BJP combine raised the issue of Parliament attack accused Afzal Guru's death sentence and demanded that he be hanged at the earliest.

The Opposition trooped into the well twice shouting slogans "Afzal ko fansi do" (hang Afzal) and "Sansad par hamla nahin chalega" (attack on Parliament will not be tolerated). Members of the Congress, RJD and Left countered the Opposition's protests.

The Opposition did not allow Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, who stood up to give the Government's stand on the issue, to speak for long.

Patil said that even in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case clemency petitions were kept pending for years. He added that in the last 10 years mercy petitions have taken six to seven years before a decision could be taken.

Countering Patil's argument, the Opposition said in the case of the assassination of General Vaidya, the decision was taken quickly. Patil added that the law would take its course in the Afzal case. This did not pacify the Opposition members who kept shouting slogans at the top of their voice.

Amid the entire din, Patil said financial assistance had already been provided.

On the issue of petrol pump allocation to families of the bereaved, Patil said while the licensing issue has been sorted out, the problem was with allocation of land and that too would be resolved.

The matter was raised by senior BJP leader MM Joshi who said nine security personnel laid down their lives in protecting the symbol of sovereignty and demanded that those who attacked Parliament should be given severe punishment.

Patil, however, could not complete his reply in the din and the House was adjourned.

Mail to sutirthopatranobis @hindustantimes.com

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