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Rajya Sabha ruckus: CPI MP writes to House secy gen, questions footage ‘leak’

This comes two days after the government on Thursday fielded eight Union ministers to take on the Opposition over the washed-out Monsoon Session and accused it of “bringing anarchy from the streets to Parliament”.

Written by Krishn Kaushik | New Delhi |
August 15, 2021 3:53:06 am
Binoy Viswam, ordnance factories, corporatisation, CPI leader, Indian express newsCommunist Party of India MP Binoy Viswam

Contemplating action against members of the Opposition for their alleged unruly behaviour on the last day of Monsoon Session in Rajya Sabha on August 11, Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu visited Parliament House on Saturday, and sources said “watched the entire visual recording of the incidents in the House, including those involving some members and marshals”.

In another major development on Saturday, CPI member Binoy Viswam wrote to Rajya Sabha secretary-general Desh Deepak Verma, claiming that he was “personally targeted” by four or five “outsiders”, and accused the government of “selective leaking” CCTV footage of the House, which he called is the House’s privileged property.

This comes two days after the government on Thursday fielded eight Union ministers to take on the Opposition over the washed-out Monsoon Session and accused it of “bringing anarchy from the streets to Parliament”.

In his letter, Viswam, who is mentioned in the incident report filed on August 11 by the Special Director (Security), Rajya Sabha Secretariat, sought a “detailed probe into the events”, when “members of the Opposition, including me, were physically manhandled and targeted by unknown personnel in Parliament”. The incident report mentions that Viswam had “snatched papers/ folders kept on the Table of House” and later joined some other members in pushing and pulling the marshals.

He wrote that the government has “used every avenue to portray a biased and concocted narrative against members of the Opposition” and accused it of “selective leaking of privileged property of the Rajya Sabha in the form of CCTV footage and internal documents to the filing of false allegations by the marshals, alleging assault by the Opposition MPs”.

The CPI MP wrote that “these unfortunate instances occurred when the Government tried to bulldoze” through the House the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021, “despite repeated requests from the Opposition, and even their own allies, to send the Bill to a Select Committee.” He mentioned that the government had earlier “indicated (that) it would do” so.

“Upon the devious attempts by the Government to pass this anti-people Bill, we exercised our right as Parliamentarians to protest the same and it is only the bringing in of over 40 personnel, whose identity is unknown and suspect, that led to the chaos in the well of the house,” the CPI leader wrote. “The deliberate move to create multiple cordons of security resulted in members of the Opposition, including female MPs being manhandled.

“During this commotion, I was personally targeted by 4-5 of these outsiders, who grabbed hold of me and physically assaulted me. It is deeply unfortunate that the safety and security of members of Parliament was purposefully compromised by the Government, on whose behest these unknown individuals were acting.”

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