Jammu And Kashmir Governor Abandons Address To Legislature

25 February 2009

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra Wednesday had to abandon his address to the state legislature midway after opposition members disrupted the house over “continuing” human rights abuses in the state. As soon as Vohra began his address to the joint session of the legislature, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) legislators were up on their feet demanding an explanation from the governor over human rights violations in the state. The unrest began with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanding that discrimination against Jammu region must end. “Jammu ke saath bhedbhav nahin chalega (discrimination against Jammu will not be allowed),” chanted the 11 BJP members of the assembly. This was followed by PDP legislators led by their party leader Mehbooba Mufti raising slogans against the Omar Abdullah government and saying that it had been a silent spectator to human rights abuses in the state. “Scrap the Armed Forces Special Powers Act,” she shouted. The governor could not be heard in the din. Finally, he gave up and left halfway through his speech. The 87-member state assembly has 21 PDP members; the ruling National Conference has 26 seats and its ally the Congress 16.