Less than two months after violence in the wake of Dera Sacha Sauda head’s conviction in a rape case, Haryana Assembly on Monday expressed condolences over the death of dera premis (followers) who died in Panchkula and Sirsa. Tributes were also paid to those who died during Jat quota agitation in February 2016.
When the proceedings of the House began with the reading out of obituary references, Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader and former minister Kiran Choudhry demanded the names of those who died during the violence following the conviction of dera chief on August 25 should be included in the obituary resolutions.
A total of 41 persons had died in Panchkula (35) and Sirsa (6) during the incidents of violence and arson. INLD MLA Parminder Dhull went ahead and equated the Panchkula incident with massacre of Jallianwala Bagh.
After this, INLD leader and Leader of Opposition Abhay Chautala made a demand for inclusion of names of 31 people who died in the violence during Jat quota stir in February last year. The treasury benches agreed to this demand. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ram Bilas Sharma stood up to say that these names have also been included in the obituary references.
Later, in a press release, the government said, “The House also paid tributes to those who lost their lives during violence in Panchkula and Sirsa.”
When asked by The Indian Express, Kiran Choudhry, said, “We urged inclusion of only innocent dera followers, who died after they were caught in the cross-firing, in the obituary references. We strongly condemn those responsible for the violence.”
Speaker Kanwar Pal Gujjar said, “The resolution was passed unanimously after Parliamentary Affairs Minister gave his consent for the same following a demand from the Congress as well INLD members. The House is supreme and it can pass such a resolution.” A senior police officer said that during the preliminary investigation, it was found that many of the dera followers had come to indulge in the violence but role of individuals is yet to be established as the investigations are still on.
Meanwhile, the first day of the Haryana Assembly session on Monday witnessed noisy scenes as members of the Congress were evicted after they remained adamant on the demand for a debate on the shelving of the Dadupur-Nalvi canal scheme by the state government.
After the reading out of obituary resolutions, Congress MLAs, including former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Kiran Choudary and Randeep Singh Surjewala, sought a debate on the scrapping of the canal project, claiming that the decision would hit the farmers hard.
Congress MLAs said they had brought an adjournment motion on the issue and demanded that a debate be held.
However, when the Speaker Kanwar Pal did not relent, all the Congress members trooped into the Well of the House, pressing for a discussion on the “burning issue”.
The Speaker, while trying to persuade the Congress MLAs to go back to their seats, said that he had accepted the adjournment motion and it would be taken up on Tuesday.
But Congress members kept demanding an immediate discussion. The Speaker first ‘named’ all the Congress MLAs and then asked the watch and ward staff of the Assembly to evict them.
Later, talking to reporters, senior Congress leader and MLA Kuldeep Sharma said that once an adjournment motion is accepted in the House, it cannot be postponed.
“It should be taken up immediately. It seems the government was not ready for it, that is why it was postponed for tomorrow,” claimed Sharma.