Thursday, August 9, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Enraged Oppn walks out
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 8
Enraged over Home Minister L.K. Advani’s “unsatisfactory” response to the killings of 10 passengers by terrorists at Jammu railway station last night, the combined Opposition today staged a walkout in the Lok Sabha.

While the Opposition accused the government of failure on the law and order front in the Lok Sabha, the issue also generated heat and anger in the Rajya Sabha, with members demanding a statement from the Union Home Minister who promised to give it tomorrow.

Mr Advani, who was present in the Upper House, informed the members that he has convened a meeting of all ministers and senior government officials concerned to formulate a strategy to tackle the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Earlier in the Lok Sabha, the Home Minister said that a high-level meeting has been convened to take stock of the situation and evolve a comprehensive strategy to meet the challenge.

Saying that the incidents in J&K had shaken everybody, Mr Advani said that he had already spoken to the Governor and the Chief Minister of J&K on the developments.

“We have to work together and assist them in dealing with the situation”, Mr Advani said, adding that the state has been asked to redeploy forces in a manner to ensure that no area remained uncovered.

Earlier, Congress member S. Jaipal Reddy raised the issue with agitated members, demanding the presence of Mr Advani in the House to respond to it.

Even as Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan was trying to pacify the members, saying that the Home Minister was in the Upper House, Mr Advani rushed to the Lok Sabha.

Mr Reddy’s notice of adjournment motion on the issue was, however, disallowed by Speaker G M C Balayogi.

Mr Advani said the Jammu incident would be debated in the House tomorrow and after the discussion, he would reply to it.

The Congress member said that the killing of innocent passengers at Jammu railway station was “outrageous and obnoxious” and the country could not remain a “mute spectator” to what was happening there after the “Agra fiasco.”

The government, Mr Reddy charged, seemed to have lowered its guard and massacres were taking place.

There was no excuse now for the government as yesterday’s incident had happened in the heart of the city, he said, pointing out that never before the government had failed on the law and order front in this manner.


Advani must quit: Cong
Shiv Sena also joins chorus
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 8
Expressing serious concern over the continued killings of innocent people in Jammu and Kashmir, the Congress today sought the resignation from Home Minister L. K. Advani. The party said it would press for Mr Advani’s resignation in Parliament also.

"The Home Minister cannot escape responsibility for what is happening in Jammu and Kashmir. We, therefore, feel that he should resign as Home Minister on moral grounds," Congress chief spokesman Jaipal Reddy said here.

Mr Advani, the Congress spokesperson said, was cast more in the mould of an “agitator’’ than an “administrator.’’

Referring to yesterday’s incident at Jammu, Mr Reddy said it constituted “ultimate reflection on the incapacity of the Central Government to meet the aggravated situation in the state.’’ Maintaining that security forces in the state were under the Home Ministry, Mr Reddy faulted attempts to pass the buck on Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah for the failure to check violence.

Meanwhile, CPM leader Somnath Chaterjee today met Congress President Sonia Gandhi to discuss increased floor coordination between the Opposition parties to pin down the government on various issues.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Chaterjee said the Samajwadi Party had also said it had no objection to attempts at better floor coordination with the Congress.

In a direct attack on the Home Minister, the Delhi Shiv Sena chief Mr Jai Bhagwan Goel today accused him of “sticking to his chair’’ while the “tandav of terrorism’’ was on the rise in Jammu and Kashmir.

Addressing a condolence meeting held here to pay homage to those killed in yesterday’s Jammu Railway station shootout, Mr Goel who is also Shiv Sena in charge of North India said the Home Minister had stated after a recent massacre that he would not let such killings to recur in the state or else he would resign from his post on moral grounds.

“The tandav of terrorism is increasing day by day after his statement but the Home Minister is still sticking to his chair,’’ the Shiv Sena leader said. PTI, UNI

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