The opposition Congress launched a scathing attack on the State government for its failure to improve the law and order situation in the State on the first day of the winter session of the Vidhan Sabha on Tuesday. Unsatisfied by the answer of the government the members of the Congress party staged a symbolic walk out on the issue.
The Congress members staged a dharna in the gallery of the house to express their protest on the worsening law and order situation in the State. As soon as the house assembled the Congress members led by the Leader of Opposition (LoP) Yashpal Arya and Pritam Singh demanded work adjournment on the issue under rule 310 but their demand was overruled by the speaker Ritu Khanduri. However, she allowed the discussion on the issue under rule 58. Initiating the debate on the issue, the LoP Arya said that an atmosphere of fear grips the State as the criminals are having a free run. He said that in last eight months 139 cases of murder, 554 cases of rape and 269 cases of abduction of women have been registered in the police stations of the State. He said that the people of the State are still in shock over the brutal murder of 19-year-old Ankita Bhandari. Arya said that it is shocking that the first report which was registered in the case was of the person who is the main accused in the murder of Ankita Bhandari. He said that the parents of Ankita are demanding justice but the government has dithered on ordering a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry in the case. Giving examples of Jagdish murder case in Salt, Almora and the deaths of 42 people in spurious liquor tragedy at Bhagwanpur in Haridwar Arya alleged that Dalits are being marginalised in the State as government is paying no heed to them. He said that the audacity of the criminals in the State has become so high that they are committing burglary in the house of the brother of a cabinet minister. The Chakarata MLA Pritam Singh also tried to corner the State government on the Ankita Bhandari murder case. He said that on September 24, tweet from the official handle of chief minister of Uttarakhand mentioned that the illegal resort where Ankita worked has been razed by bulldozer while the district magistrate of Pauri claimed that he had no knowledge as to who ordered the use of bulldozer and said that an inquiry would be ordered in the issue. Launching a scathing attack on the government, Singh said that Udham Singh Nagar has become the crime capital of Uttarakhand but instead of taking action on the officers, the government is protecting some of its favourite policemen. The deputy leader of Congress Legislature Party (CLP) Bhuwan Kapdi said that the people of State are now afraid to send their daughters to work.
In his reply the Parliamentary Affairs minister Prem Chand Agarwal said that investigation is going on in the Ankita Bhandari case by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) and arrests have been made. He clarified that the investigations have revealed that the reference of the VIP in the case is related to the guests staying in the VIP lodge of the resort. On the Congress party’s claim that crimes against women in the State have increased, the minister said that 100 per cent registration of the cases is being done in the State.
Pritam Singh questions efficacy of breach of privilege motion
PNS | DEHRADUN
The opposition members raised the issue of their breach of privilege in the house. The Congress MLAs Sumit Hridayesh and Adesh Chauhan said that their privilege has been breached. Intervening in the debate the senior leader of Congress and Chakrata MLA Pritam Singh said that the State government takes no cognisance of breach of privilege notices. He said that the speakers in the past have issued orders from the chair in this regard but even then no action has been taken. Terming this as an insult of the chair, the Congress leader suggested that the provision of the breach of privilege should be removed from the regulations of the Vidhan Sabha since it has become irrelevant. He said that in the discussions on the issue the former deputy speaker Raghunath Singh Chauhan had said that even his privilege had been breached. The Leader of Opposition (LoP) Yashpal Arya said that the administration is deliberately ignoring the MLAs of the opposition parties in the programmes in their constituencies. He said that in many cases it has been seen that the name of the former MLAs of ruling party is mentioned on the plaques placed at foundation stone laying ceremony or inauguration programmes while the name of the sitting MLA finds no mention.