Riyaz ul Khaliq
Independent legislator Engineer Rasheed on Monday said that “he is observing ceasefire for two-three days” viz-a-viz government report on Handwara killings.
Rasheed was participating in debate on grants to Power Sector of J&K but was stopped when deputy speaker and Communist Lawmaker were discussing “powers and discretion of the chair”.
The issue cropped up when Congress’s Nawang Rigzin Jora initiated debate on Power sector but he didn’t stop when his time finished. Deputy Speaker, Nazir Ahmad Gurezi, asked Langate Lawmaker to start his speech.
Rasheed tried but stopped as Jora continued with his “slippery English speech” though his micro-phone was switched off when assembly secretary, Mohammad Ramzan, gestured the officials to put it off.
“I won’t allow you to speak if you don’t speak now,” Gurezi told Rasheed. This angered Communist Lawmaker, M Y Tarigami, who intervened, “you can’t order so.”
Confidant, Gurezi asked for rule book, Jora stopped, Rasheed resumed the debate.
Asking government to make a power project functional in his constituency, Rasheed told the house, “when you talk about giving boost to Industries what stops you from supporting power project which has come up under PPP in Langate.”
He asked Power Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh, to ensure that the project starts working at an earliest so that the area is benefitted.
Done with skimming rule book pages, Gurezi stopped Rasheed and told the house about “powers and discretion of chair (speaker and deputy speaker)”. Gurezi was satisfied that “he did no wrong”.
However, Tarigami replied, “discretion has a limit.”
Done with argument and counter arguments, Rasheed ridiculed the chair. “Which discretion Sir,” he asked Gurezi, “you had directed PDP-BJP government to present report on civilian Handwara killings but it was not respected.”
“Which powers are talking about?” Rasheed asked the chair.
He told the house that those who were killed in Handwara “can’t come alive again” but, “you will asked about it”.
Gurezi had last week asked government to present report on Handwara killings in house. “Don’t expect normal behaviour of Opposition if you don’t fulfil your promises,” Gurezi had told treasury benches. However, government again deferred the report “to appropriate time”.
This angered Gurezi who directed Rasheed to discuss grants.
On the other hand, right wing BJP Lawmaker were pressing chair as “why Rasheed was derailing from the topic”.
“Aap ko mirchi kyun lagi?” Rasheed told BJP men, “20 people arrested in Jammu (post allegations of Temple desecration) were released same evening,” he told the house.
Rasheed said that the government was “following dual policy”
Over twenty people were arrested and later released same day after, reports said, BJP ministers pressed the JKP “as why such people were detained”. The person released were arrested after violence following allegations of temple desecration in Jammu recently.
“Things are clear as this government has two yard sticks in J&K,” he alleged.
After Gurezi’s direction to restart his speech, Rasheed replied, “yes Sir, I will do it. I am observing ceasefire for two-three days and after that government will have to present it.”
“I will get your order done,” Rasheed told Gurezi, “this government will have to present the report.”
After Rasheed started his speech, Congress man Vikar Rasool stood and addressed chair, “we know what the ceasefire is.”
“There is match fixing and Rasheed sahab has been told not raise this issue till Islamabad elections are over,” Vikar alleged inviting fierce face from Rasheed. “The ceasefire statement is revealed.”
“Don’t give me sermon,” Rasheed retorted.
After Rasheed was done with speech on Power sector, he was asked by Gurezi as what he meant by “Kashmir unka bhi hai”.
“What I meant is this that Kashmir dispute is yet to be resolved and the divided Kashmir under Pakistan and India is one,” Rasheed responded. “There is yet to be a resolution of the debate.”
This statement of Langate Lawmaker forced right wing BJP Lawmakers to protest.
“Rasheed sahab, don’t you remember as what did you pronounce when taking oath as an MLA,” BJP’s foot-in-mouth Ravinder Raina told Rasheed, “you took oath to protect sovereignty of Indian territory.”
Angry, the Langate Lawmaker replied, “even if I am hanged won’t say J&K is integral part of India.”
Five civilians including an aged lady were killed after protests erupted in North Kashmir’s Handwara following allegations of molestation bid by an army man in April.
The Opposition has been demanding report of enquiry on the incident from May 25, 2016-the first day of on-going 2016-17 Budget Session. Government had sought two days but is yet to do it.
The Lower House is discussing grants to Power and Urban Development departments and Dy CM Dr Nirmal Singh is present in the house listening to suggestions and concerns by Lawmakers.