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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Violent protests rock J&K Assembly, PDP MLA hurt

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Jammu, February 12, 2014
First Published: 00:00 IST(12/2/2014) | Last Updated: 00:04 IST(12/2/2014)

In one of the most violent protests in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, a PDP MLA was injured, while chairs of staff were thrown away, mikes pulled down and a verbal duel forced Speaker Mubarak Gul to adjourn the House, which could not transact any business as the Opposition demanded allotting administrative units in certain "ignored areas".

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The People's Democratic Party (PDP), which disrupted the governor's address on Monday, had made its intention clear of not allowing any business till its demand for allotting administrative units in more areas was accepted. All PDP MLAs, barring party president Mehbooba Mufti and deputy speaker Sartaj Madni, rushed to the well as Tuesday's session started.

The Speaker directed them to return to their seats and said that he would allow them to raise the issue after question hour, but the protesting PDP MLAs shouted back: "People are on the streets, we can't go back to the seats."

Protests in some parts of the state have been continuing over the administrative units. Protesters from the Wachi area, a constituency represented by the PDP president, had assembled outside the civil secretariat.

The PDP MLAs stood on the table of the assembly staff, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House for 15 minutes. But when the Assembly was reconvened, the scenes were repeated. And, this time they were joined by the BJP and Panthers Party also alleging discrimination in the allotment of administrative units. The Assembly was again adjourned.

When the House was reconvened, the Speaker allowed Mehbooba Mufti to speak but he also asked her to direct her MLAs to take their seats. She, however, said that the MLAs would continue to protest. It was a cue for the PDP MLAs as they began shouting and entered into a scuffle with the security staff in a bid to get close to the Speaker. In the melee, PDP MLA Sayeed Mushtaq Shah was injured.

This infuriated the PDP MLAs further and they pulled down chairs after which the assembly was adjourned.
Commenting on the ruckus, chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted, "Seems they (opposition) really are totally shaken up by our decision to create so many new administrative units which has been well received." "Want to see shameful behaviour of elected representatives - check out the opposition in the J&K assembly standing on tables," he added.

Reacting to Omar's tweets, Mehbooba told the media: "Instead of coming to the House, he prefers to tweet. Omar has said PDP MLAs should feel sorry. Sorry for what? He (Omar) should feel (sorry) as there was a suspicious murder of Haju Yousef (NC worker) at his residence and the JKCA scam involving Dr Farooq Abdullah."

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