Jammu: Opposition People’s Democratic Party(PDP) Sunday staged a walkout from the Legislative Assembly in protest against the use of pellet guns by government forces .
Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and National Panthers Party (NPP) legislators also walked out from the House on the issue of regularization of daily wagers, while Independent MLA and chairman Awami Itihad Party(AIP) Engineer Abdul Rashid held a protest over the refusal of Tihar Jail authorities to allow a Kashmiri couple meeting with their son.
As soon as the proceedings started, PDP legislators stood up and sought response from the government over use of pellet guns on peaceful protesters in Kashmir.
“Government has been using pellet guns on protesters for so many years due to which hundreds of youth have lost their eyesight. Recently, in Shopian, two youth lost their eye sight. We need an answer from the government in this regard,” PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said .
Despite assurances by Speaker Mubarak Gul that they would be given adequate time to discuss the issue after question hour, the PDP members jumped into the House well and started raising anti- government slogans like “pellet gun sarkar…hai…hai.”
“We want the government to explain its position on the use of pellet guns. How long is it going use these lethal weapons on protesters?” the PDP legislators demanded.
Meanwhile, the BJP and NPP legislators also stood up and demanded the regularization of daily wagers in different government departments in the state.
“We want government to do justice with daily wagers and fulfill its promise of regularizing them,” said NPP legislator, Harsh Dev Singh.
Independent MLA Engineer Rashid asked the government to ensure that Kashmir families are allowed to meet their kin detained in different jails in and outside the state.
“These families spent a lot of money to meet their dear ones in jails, but unfortunately they are not allowed to meet them there. It is shame on state government,” said Rashid.
The Speaker however remained adamant that the protesting legislators do not disturb the proceedings.
With no response from the government, the protesting PDP, BJP and NPP members walked out from the house raising anti- government slogans.
Speaking to media –persons outside the House, Mehbooba said that hundreds of youth in Kashmir have lost their eyesight due to use of pellet guns.
“The government is silent on the issue . They need to answer how long these weapons are going to be used and who is going to bear the expenses of the treatment of people injured due to them,” said Mehbooba.
She also said that it is only in Kashmir that government uses weapons like pellet guns and chili guns on humans which are otherwise used on animals.
“Governments everywhere in the world are trying new means like employment, internet and others to connect with its youth. But in Kashmir pellet gun is the new discovery of the Chief Minister to connect with the youth,” said Mehbooba.