Debating India

Haryana echo in Parliament

Wednesday 27 July 2005

Special Correspondent

Opposition, Left parties stage walkout; Hooda announces judicial probe

Left demands statement from Prime Minister Patil points to contradictions in versions Dismissal of Hooda Government sought

NEW DELHI: Amid a walkout by the Opposition and the Left parties, the Centre told Parliament on Tuesday that the Haryana Government had agreed to a judicial inquiry into Monday’s lathicharge on agitating workers in Gurgaon.

The "police brutality’’ dominated the proceedings in both Houses during the pre-lunch session. It ended with a walkout led by the Left parties demanding a statement from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Dr. Singh summoned Home Minister Shivraj Patil during the lunch recess. Thereafter, Mr. Patil returned to the Lok Sabha to make the statement on judicial probe.

Earlier, in both Houses, Mr. Patil said he did not want to take sides as there was a "contradiction’’ in the versions given by the State Government and three MPs who had visited the spot.

Members joined issue with Mr. Patil when he said that the report sent to the Centre by the State Government said 92 workers were injured. The probe would verify this claim. The workers took out a procession through an area where prohibitory orders were in force and the police lathicharged them as they felt that the situation was getting out of control. Over 30 policemen, including an officer, were injured. A government jeep and two motorcycles were burnt. "I have been told repeatedly that no one was killed,’’ he said. Mr. Patil said ``we will do whatever [is] possible according to the law. There will be no obstacle to doing that. We are also feeling sad.’’

The members wanted to know whether the police were on the payroll of multinationals or the Government; would those maimed for life be adequately compensated? Why had administrative reforms not been fully implemented and why were people in authority not sensitive enough to people’s needs? They asked whether the workers’ right to unionise would not be recognised.

In the Lok Sabha, members likened the lathicharge to the Jallianwallah Bagh incident. Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar said this was only to be expected after the Prime Minister’s recent praise of the British rule.

The issue came up as soon as Parliament met for the day with four members giving notices for suspension of question hour in the Lok Sabha and 13 doing so in the Rajya Sabha.

In the Lok Sabha, amid protests from Congress members, BJP leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra demanded the dismissal of the Congress Government headed by Bhupinder Singh Hooda in Haryana.

Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) - who was at the site on Monday - gave an eyewitness account of the police action and Basudeb Acharia of the CPI (M) demanded a statement from Dr. Singh.

With the Opposition, Left members and some constituents of the UPA - DMK, PMK and RJD - expressing anguish over the incident, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee allowed other party leaders to make short interventions.

See online : The Hindu

SPIP | template | | Site Map | Follow-up of the site's activity RSS 2.0