The four-day Monsoon Session of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly got off to a stormy start on Tuesday with opposition BJP pressing for the admission of their adjournment motion for an immediate discussion on the “deteriorating” law-and-order situation in the state and the gangrape and murder case of a schoolgirl. There was pandemonium in the House as the BJP members stuck to their demand for an immediate discussion on the issues raised by them and Speaker B B L Butail had to adjourn the proceedings for 15 minutes. As the House re-assembled, the BJP members rushed to the Well raising slogans, forcing the speaker to adjourn the proceedings for the day.
Immediately after the obituary references to mourn the death of former MLA Sadanand Chauhan and the victims of the Mandi landslide, BJP member Suresh Bhardwaj inquired about the notices given by the party MLAs for an adjournment motion on the “deteriorating” law-and-order situation of the state and the gangrape and murder case of the schoolgirl.
He alleged that the government was “shielding” the culprits behind the ghastly crime and added that no action had been taken against the erring police officials.
The BJP leader said it was a serious matter that photographs of certain persons, allegedly involved in the case were uploaded on Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh’s Facebook page and later removed.
He also claimed that “alarming” reports of heinous crimes were pouring in from various parts of the state “almost everyday” and demanded an immediate discussion on the matter.
The speaker said he had received the notices of the BJP MLAs and informed the government about them.
He added that he would allow a discussion on the issue after getting a reply from the government.
State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Agnihotri said the gangrape and murder case was sub-judice and thus, no discussion could be held on it in the House.
At this, BJP MLAs Randhir Sharma, Rajeev Bindal and Ravinder Ravi said the opposition was demanding a discussion on the overall law-and-order situation in the state.
They referred to the mysterious death of forest guard Hoshiar Singh in Karsog, the rape of minors in Kullu and Tissa and the double murder in Rohroo in this regard.
Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur said the high court had handed over the probe into the gangrape and murder case of the schoolgirl to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and added that everyone should wait for its outcome.
Leader of Opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal said the main responsibility of any government was to provide a secure environment to the people.
“The present government has failed on that front and no issue is bigger than this for a discussion at this moment,” he said, while also claiming that the gangrape and murder case was not sub-judice as the media was reporting “everything about the CBI probe”.
Dhumal claimed that there were doubts over the role of the state police as well as that of the government in the gangrape and murder case and added that the ruling dispensation should clear the air over them in the House.
Earlier, the House mourned the deaths of former Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) MLA from Nahan Sadanand Chauhan and the 46 victims of the Kotrupi landslide in Mandi district.
Chauhan was a member of the House from 2003 to 2007.