- Mufti seeks inquiry into twin accidents during Hajj pilgrimage; House pays tributes to deceased, adjourned till Monday
Srinagar: The week-long autumn session of the Legislative Assembly started on a noisy note as independent MLA Engineer Rashid relentlessly accused the government of following the RSS’ agenda in the Muslim majority state.
Amidst the obituary motion (for the deceased Hajj pilgrims), Rashid shouted at the top of his voice, seeking a clarification from Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on the ‘beef ban’ issue. “The PDP-BJP government is carrying forward the agenda of the RSS to hurt the sentiments of Muslims. We won’t allow it to work,” Rashid said.
He accused the Speaker, Kavinder Gupta, of being biased as he disallowed the discussion on Article 35 (A). Rashid also attempted to storm into the well of the house and waved a banner with “No interference in religious affairs” written on it.
“Please speak about those are alive and not about the dead,” Rashid quipped when the House was paying tributes to former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam, former ministers Ghulam Rasool Kar, Mir Ghulam Muhammad, Abdul Gani Shah Veeri, Khawaja Sanaullah Dar, legislators Janak Raj Gupta, Ghulam Mohammad Misger, Vir Chand Mahasha, Farida Mir and Justice Mian Jalal-ud-din. The House also observed a two-minute silence in memory of the Hajj pilgrims who died in the crane crash incident and Mina stampede, in Makkah.
BJP legislator Ravinder Raina responded by saying that said his party would not allow anyone to hurt the sentiments of the minority community. At the start of the session, Raina also waved the Indian tricolor in the premises of the Assembly secretariat.
CM Mufti Sayeed demanded that the Saudi government should hold a ‘credible inquiry’ to ascertain the causes that led to the mishap during the Hajj pilgrimage. “Despite state-of-the-art facilities available in Saudi Arabia, it is unfathomable that such lapses could have occurred. It has become necessary to take corrective measures so that such incidents do not occur in the future,” he said.
Mufti described Kalam as the ‘Missile Man’ of India and a ‘People’s President’. Mufti also recalled his association with veteran congress leader Ghulam Rasool Kar and others. Opposition leader Omar Abdullah also paid tributes to the deceased in the House. The speaker then adjourned the session till Monday.
The legislative council also saw a walkout by Congress MLC Muzaffar Parray because he said he was not allowed to speak on the obituary references. Meanwhile, the Congress moved two adjournment motions in both the Houses, seeking a debate on the rehabilitation of flood victims and levying of service tax on helicopter services at Vaishno Devi and the Amarnath shrine.