Oppn raises issue in assembly, stages walkout

Jammu: The opposition National Conference and Congress members Saturday staged a walkout from the Assembly over the alleged failure of the government to protect the lives of the border residents in the ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

Three civilians, two BSF personnel and an Army jawan, were killed and over 40 others injured in the heavy shelling by Pakistan along the International Border and Line of Control (LoC) in the Jammu region since Thursday.

Soon after Speaker Kavinder Gupta took the chair, the opposition members started shouting slogans against the Centre and state government and staged a walk out to protest the killings in Pakistani firing.

BJP legislators, led by state president Sat Sharma, raised anti-Pakistan slogans, while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), attempted to pacify the opposition by promising a detailed statement on the ceasefire violations after the Question Hour.

“A comprehensive report is being prepared to inform the House,” Relief and Revenue Minister Javaid Mustafa Mir said, adding that he had already directed the home commissioner to prepare a report.

NC’s Ali Mohammad Sagar criticised the statement of Union minister Jitendra Singh and said the opposition raised the ceasefire violations issue thrice in the House yesterday and had sought a statement from the government.

Singh, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had yesterday said, “Kashmir-centric Pakistan apologists owe an explanation to the nation and that there can be no pardon for them when they continue to shamelessly speak on behalf of Paksitan even on the day when the heavy civilian casualties have been inflicted on the borders by unprovoked Pakistani firing.”

Sagar alleged that the union minister tried to “mislead” people over the ceasefire violation by “baseless statements”.

“The government was apologetic for not issuing any statement on the issue yesterday,” he told reporters.

Congress legislature party leader Nawang Rigzin Jora also criticised the statement of the union minister and blamed the alleged “inconsistent policy” of the Centre for the frequent ceasefire violations.

“This government, both at the Centre and state, is confused. The state government, in particular, is in chaos and involved in infighting. In such a situation when we do not have a stable government in the state and Centre is indulged in flip-flops, Pakistan will continue the shelling to its benefit,” he said.

“Where has the 56-inch chest gone? Our people are getting killed and displaced daily and the BJP leaders are doing politics over the miseries of the people,” Congress legislator Wakar Rasool told reporters outside the House.

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