Himachal Pradesh: Uproar over 3 SC men being forced to leave religious feast

Published on Feb 28, 2020 10:24 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Shimla | ByGaurav Bisht/Navneet Rathore, Shimla

Himachal Pradesh Assembly witnessed an uproar by the opposition which staged a walkout on Friday after three persons belonging to Schedule Caste were forced to leave during a religious feast at the ongoing International Shivratri Fair in Mandi.

As soon as the house assembled for the day, Congress member Jagat Singh Negi was on his feet, seeking adjournment of the proceedings and discussion on the issue.

Negi said that he had moved an adjournment notice under Rule 67 on the issue. Speaker Vipin Singh Parmar rejected the adjournment motion stating that it was received late but allowed Negi to raise the issue.

The Congress member said that three persons belonging to schedule caste were not allowed to sit with other people and forced to leave the ’Bhandara’ organised at the ongoing Shivratri fair in Mandi on Thursday.

“Such incidents are being reported from Mandi frequently. Last year, Dalit students were made to sit separately during mid-day meal at a school. Even a Dalit minister was not allowed to enter a temple in the district,” he said.

Negi charged the state government of being anti-Dalit and anti-ST, OBC. He sought strict action against the perpetrators of Mandi incident.

In his reply on the issue, Jal Shakti minister Mahender Singh Thakur said that there is no place for caste and creed during the Shivratri fair.

The minister said that a religious feast is organised for the devotees during the fair by the organising committee.

He told that one Sushil Kumar filed a complaint that on Thursday, he along with Inder Singh and Bittu went to have the religious fest when Vijay Kumar stopped them from sitting with other people.

“Another person named Dila Ram threatened to kill the trio,” said the minister.

He said that based on the complaint Mandi police have registered a case under Sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the IPC and provisions of SC, ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.

“The accused have been arrested,” said Thakur.

“Government strongly denounces such incidents. Whatever has happened is unfortunate and strict action will be taken,” he added.

Dissatisfied with replies, the opposition members stood up and started raising slogans against the government.

This led to a heated exchange of arguments between the treasury and opposition benches. The opposition later stormed out of the house only to return after some time.

While addressing the mediapersons , leader of opposition Mukesh Agnihotri said that the opposition wanted the proceedings of the day adjourned and discuss the issue first.

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