Thursday, September 29, 2022

Marshals manhandled, choked, dragged by opposition in RS: House internal security report

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CPI-M member Elamaran Kareem manhandled and severely choked the neck of a male marshal while a lady marshal was pulled and dragged by Congress MPs Phulodevi Netam and Chhaya Sharma, says internal security report of Rajya Sabha on the unprecedented pandemonium and unruly scenes in the House when the bill on insurance business was taken up on Wednesday.

Two security officials have submitted written complaints about the behaviour of opposition members during their protest in the well of House. The report, accessed by ANI, mentions that Trinamool Congress member Dola Sen “obstructed” the way of Leader of House Piyush Goyal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi who were coming from the Chairman’s chamber to take their respective seats and were also “pushed” by her.

It mentions that the security officials deployed for duty in the House did not misbehave with any of the members during the commotion.

Akshita Bhat, a security official, who was positioned inside the Rajya Sabha Chamber to protect the Table of the House during the protests being carried out by opposition parties, has said in her complaint to the Director (Security) of Rajya Sabha Secretariat that some male MPs, engaged in protests, rushed towards her and tried to breach security cordon.

She said that when she resisted, MPs Chhaya Verma and Phulo Devi Netam (both from Congress) stepped aside and made way for the male MPs to aggressively breach the security cordon and reach the Table.

She said both the female MPs physically and forcefully dragged her by pulling her arms in their attempt to help their male counterparts break the security cordon.

Bhat stated that “as a result of their deliberate and violent action”, she sustained “multiple abrasions, swellings and haematoma (left shoulder) and twisted left wrist”.

The security official said that after the adjournment of the House, she was taken to a first aid post where she was treated with medicines and bandages.

She has attached a copy of the medical report with her complaint. Stating that the incident has caused her physical injuries and mental agony, she demanded appropriate action.

Bhat stated that the situation was unprecedented and it was an extremely challenging endeavour to have maintained dignified behaviour in the face of “violent behaviour” demonstrated by the protesting Members of Parliament.

Another security official, Rakesh Negi, who was performing Marshal’s duty inside the Rajya Sabha Chamber, said in his complaint that MPs Elamaram Kareem and Anil Desai “tried to break the security cordon (human chain) made by the Marshals”.

Kareem belongs to CPI-M and Desai to Shiv Sena. Negi said that during this process, Kareem caught hold of his neck (posterior side) in order to drag him out of the security cordon chain, which led “to momentarily choking and suffocation”.

The report said Elamaran Kareem “manhandled and severely choked the neck of one male marshal and dragged him in order to break the security cordon”.

“One lady Marshal (security official from Parliament Security Service, Rajya Sabha Secretariat) was pulled and dragged by Congress MPs Phulodevi Netam and Chhaya Verma and assaulted her in the ‘well of the House,'” it added.

Some opposition members including Chhaya Verma tore some papers and threw them towards the table of the House. Video recording was also made by some members after the House was adjourned.

The report said that as soon as the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha for consideration and passing, opposition members stormed into the well of the House and attempted to climb the on the Table of the House and to tear the papers placed on it.

As per the directions from the Chair, officials of the Parliament Security Service had already positioned themselves around the Table of the House to prevent potential damage to the items placed.

As opposition members started tearing the papers and throwing them towards the Chair, it was decided to rush in additional security officials to prevent the MPs from causing any hurt during the commotion.

The report mentions that security officials strengthened the cordon around the Chair and Table of the House and a Congress MP first pushed a Shiv Sena MP towards security officials and subsequently pulled him back.

Opposition members could not breach the cordon of security officials and some security officials were manhandled. The bill was subsequently passed.

The report said security officials prevented any potential damage. They said only security officials from Parliament Security Service of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha Secretariats were called and there was no misbehaviour with members.

In the CCTV footage of the ruckus that emerged on Thursday, Opposition MPs can be seen jostling with marshals in the Upper House.

In the video footage, marshals can be seen forming a human shield to block Opposition MPs from going towards the Chairman’s podium.

Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned sine die on Wednesday, two days before the scheduled end of the session.

All through the session that began on July 19, opposition members forced adjournments in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha over their various demands including a probe into allegations of surveillance through Pegasus spyware and repeal of three farm laws.

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