January 2018 News

NC MLC's Remark People Want 'Azadi' Sets The House On Fire

29 January 2018
Rising Kashmir
Syed Amjad Shah

Jammu: Legislative Council (LC) Monday witnessed noisy scenes during discussion on civilian killings in Shopian on Saturday after opposition legislator Showkat Ganai said people in Kashmir valley don't support Pakistan or India, 'they only want 'Azadi' from both the countries'. Participating in discussion on civilian killings in Kashmir during question hour in the Upper House, National Conference MLC Showkat Ahmed Ganai said that 'People in Jammu and Kashmir want Azadi'. 'They don't favor Pakistan or India. They want Azadi from both the nations to establish a separate State,' he said. As soon as the National Conference's fire brand leader in Upper House uttered these words, all the rightwing legislators got up and shouted at Showkat Ganai asking him to apologies which led to heated arguments. Chairman Legislative Council tried to calm down the situation. Even as the NC legislator did not apologize on the demand of the ruling BJP, PDP members also did not utter a word while Roads and Building Minister Naeem Akhtar said that the house should not take his words seriously 'because when the legislators take oath they take it under the Constitution of India'. However, his attempt to defuse the commotion and uproar in the Upper House failed as the BJP MLC Ashok Khajuria pointed his finger like revolver towards NC legislator Showkat Ganai asking him to say 'Bharat Mata Ki Hai'. When Chairman Legislative Council tried to proceed with the discussion on civilian killings in Kashmir, NC Legislators like Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo, Qasir Jamshaid Lone got up and insisted on the Chairman to let the NC legislator Ganai to conclude his speech. It further led to arguments between NC legislator Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo and Chairman Council, Haji Inayat Ali amid chaos in the House. The ruling BJP continued their protest against NC legislator Showkat Ganai for his remarks that people of Jammu and Kashmir want 'Azadi'. 'Don't blackmail me and do not take it personal. You create problem in routine working of the council. You are not special. All the members in this house equal to me. We don't fear your threats,' Chairman Legislative Council responded immediately when Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo got up and entered into arguments with him. As the House was witnessing noisy scenes, spokesperson of Government and Roads and Building Minister Naeem Akhtar got up and intervened amid uproar. Naeem Akhtar asked the Chairman to let Showkat Ganai to complete his speech following which Ganai again got up and questioned 'Operation All Out' in Kashmir and civilian killings while citing example 'how then Omar Abdullah's Government arrested a BSF official in the civilian killing in Kashmir after a case was registered against him'. However, the ruling rightwing legislators continued opposing the speech of Showkat Ganai seeking his apology, while Ashok Khajuria shouted at him to say 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' which the opposition legislator turned down. Later, Showkat Ganai himself brought in the knowledge of Chairman that Ashok Khajuria 'pointed his fingers at him like a revolver' and asked him to say 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai.' Showkat Ganai demanded apology from Khajuria for this gesture. Another legislator Firdous Ahmed Tak of PDP also participated in the discussion and said that Army is not above law. He asked political parties to come out of party politics and contribute towards welfare of the people. He cited example of Gool (Ramban district) incident in which four civilian were killed by the Border Security Force during Omar Abdullah Government's time while defending the Mehbooba Mufti's Government. Earlier, Showkat Ganai cited example of then SSP Shopian Shalinder Mishra who highlighted suffering of Kashmiris during a function in Mumbai in the recent past. 'He is your IPS officer who said in a function that people should not celebrate the killing of militants,' said Ganai and added that after the formation of PDP-BJP Government, army has started meddling in political matter too which they never did in the past. He advised the army to confine themselves to their areas of concern and not interfere in political matters. Whenever dialogue was held, separatists like Yaseen Malik and other came forward to discuss the issues but there was cold response from the Governments at Center, he added. Citing example of Autonomy Resolution which was passed in Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly, he said, 'Government of India has always betrayed People of Jammu and Kashmir especially, Kashmiris.' Earlier, BJP MLC Ramesh Arora advocating strengthening of forces in Kashmir and giving free hand to them 'if they are being used in Kashmir'. 'Under Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Government cannot file FIR against army. They had to consult Union Government before initiating any procedure against the Army,' said Ramesh Arora. 'Stone pelters should also see to whom they are pelting stones. Army does not have to carry batons or other things to control the violent people except weapons. Army did not open unprovoked firing on them. This has happened due to political wrong doings of past government,' he added.