Saturday, September 29, 2001, Chandigarh, India


J A M M U   &   K A S H M I R

Cong, BSP members stage walkouts

Srinagar, September 28
The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly today witnessed walkouts by members of the Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) during zero hour.

Mr Sagar Chand of the BSP walked out after he was interrupted when he wanted to raise the issue of recent appointments in the Assembly secretariat. He alleged that all the appointments were made from the Kashmir valley while youth from Jammu were ignored.

The Congress members walked out when ruling National Conference MLA, Mr Jagjivan Lal, said that he had no option but to withdraw the resolution moved by him regarding amendment of the Panchayati Raj Act.

Mr Lal withdrew the resolution following an assurance by the Rural Development Minister, Mr Ajat Shatru Singh.

The House could not take up three more resolutions, including one moved by Mr Abdul Majid Mir that the Assembly reject the proposal of Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, seeking amnesty for security personnel involved in cases of human rights violation.

When the Speaker, Mr Abdul Ahad Vakil, asked members if they wanted to continue discussion, Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Ashok Kumar Khajuria was heard saying that it being Friday the members should be allowed to offer prayers.

The Assembly today witnessed noisy scenes, with Congress members demanding immediate statement from the government on the relief measures taken for those who migrated from border areas in Chamb after the Kargil conflict.

As soon as the House assembled, all the Congress members got on their feet, alleging that government had failed to provide any relief to about 11,000 families, who had migrated from Chamb and other border areas after the Kargil conflict.

When the Speaker did not allow them to raise the issue during the question hour, some of them collected in the well of the House to lodge their protest.

Mr Tara Chand charged that the tents provided to the migrants were totally damaged and no ration was being provided to them, forcing them to sit on a dharna for the past one month.

A Kashmiri schoolgirl
A Kashmiri schoolgirl, wearing traditional Kashmiri attire, attends a Parents Day function at a Christian missionary school in Srinagar on Thursday. Christian missionary schools are popular among many parents because of their reputation for high standards. — Reuters


However, order was restored when the Speaker said that he had received information from the government that the divisional authority in Jammu had been instructed to provide ration and other facilities to migrants.

Later, Mr Tara Chand told UNI that these families could not go to their homes and were still living in migrant camps, as Pakistani troops continued to target the villages near the border.

The issue was again raised by Panthers Party member Harish Dev Singh, who suggested that a minister should visit the border area.

The Finance Minister, Mr Abdul Rahim Rather, assured the House that the government would take all measures for the migrants. UNITop

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