New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha was disrupted on Monday over atrocities against Dalits in Punjab, as Congress leaders protested against the limbs of two Dalit men being severed in Abohar.
A statement in the Rajya Sabha by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on her Pakistan visit was drowned out in an uproar by Congress members, who demanded action against the Punjab government.
As the minister, who visited Pakistan last week, stood up to read out her statement, Congress members promptly trooped to the chairman’s podium, called the government “anti-Dalit” and sought the sacking of the Punjab government.
The minister read out the whole statement despite the sloganeering. However, it was not clearly audible.
An upset Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien told the protesting members: “It is most undemocratic, unfortunate that few members take house to ransom.”
The house was briefly adjourned, but when it met again the scene was no different.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said state government will take action.
Limbs of two men were severed on Saturday at a farmhouse allegedly owned by a leader of the ruling Akali Dal, as per media reports. One of the men, Bheem Tank died on the way to the hospital after both his hands and legs were cut off. Gurjant Singh who lost his one hand was admitted in a serious condition in Amritsar.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said there was no law and order in the state.
“The incident of Abohar at the farmhouse of a Akali Dal leader… Bhim was Dalit, the way Shiv Lal Doda called him to his farmhouse and chopped off his hands and legs, it is jungle raj,” said Azad.
“The Punjab coalition government is the government of drug and alcohol mafia. There is no law and order,” he said.
Responding to him, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) member Balwinder Singh Bhunder said the man in question was not a SAD member and added that an FIR has been registered and action is being taken.
Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati called the incident “shameful”.
“The alcohol mafia of the state is behind this,” she said.
With ruckus continuing the house was adjourned till noon.
The scene remained the same when the house met again, and Chairman M. Hamid Ansari adjourned the house first till 12.30 p.m. and then till 2 p.m.