Rashid marshalled out, NC stages walkout

Independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid was marshalled out while opposition National Conference members today boycotted the Budget presentation in Jammu and Kashmir Assembly demanding a statement from the government over status of magisterial probe into Handwara killings.

As soon as Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu rose to present the budget for 2016-17, Rashid demanded that the government make a statement on the killings in Handwara town which took place during protests against alleged molestation of a girl by an army man last month.

Independent MLA from Langate, adjoining Handwara constituency, was joined by National Conference and Congress members who too demanded for a statement from the government. However, Speaker Kavinder Gupta paid no heed to the opposition’s protest and Drabu continued with his budget speech.NC leader Ali Mohammad Sagar said the government should make a statement on the Handwara incident as it had been directed by the Speaker to do so.

“Two days time was granted by the Speaker to make the statement. Say something on it,” Sagar insisted.

PDP Minister Abdul Rehman Veeri intervened at this point and asked the opposition members to resume their seats. “Budget speech is going on. I have never seen such protests during budget speech in my career,” Veeri said.

NC MLAs then staged a walkout from the House and did not return for the rest of the proceedings. However, Rashid remained in the Well of the House, pressing his demand. Speaker made several pleas to the agitating member to resume his seat but to no avail. Gupta then ordered the Assembly marshals to physically remove Rashid from the House.



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