Lawyer takes off his shirt, shouts slogans during PM's conference

Lawyer takes off his shirt, shouts slogans during PM's conference

Lawyer takes off his shirt, shouts slogans during PM's conference

An international conference attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the Capital was disrupted on Saturday morning when a 32-year-old lawyer took off his shirt and shouted slogans to protest against the “corrupt” United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and recent hike in diesel prices.

The incident took place at Vigyan Bhawan when Singh was about to address the “Conference On Economic Growth in Asia and Changes of Corporate Environment’ at 11:20 am. The conference, organised by Indian Law Institute, was attended by Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid, Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia and legal luminaries from 14 countries.

When the prime minister got up to deliver his speech, a protester climbed on a desk, took off his shirt and shouted “corrupt prime minister go back. Roll back diesel prices”.

The protester was identified as Santosh Kumar Suman, a member of the Supreme Court Bar Association and legal cell of Lalu Prasad Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Delhi unit. He was whisked out of the building’s plenary hall by special protection group personnel. Later, he was handed over to Delhi Police.

According to a senior police official, Santosh, who hails from Bihar’s Begusarai district and stays in east Delhi's Shakarpur, was attending the conference with an invitation card. He was also carrying an identity card issued by the Delhi Pradesh Rashtriya Janata Dal. He was taken to Tughlak Road police station and let off after questioning for a few hours. But no case was filed against him.

The official added that he was sitting in the hall in an area reserved for Supreme Court and High Court lawyers. All the invitees were strictly monitored by the Prime Minister’s Office. And security in and around Vigyan Bhawan was tightened due to the prime minister’s presence.

Santosh had written a letter to former president Pratibha Devisingh Patil last year seeking a sanction for filing a criminal case against the prime minister in the cash-for-votes scam that rocked Parliament during a trust vote in 2008.

He had also filed a plea in Delhi High Court seeking the prime minister’s prosecution, but it was dismissed in August 2011 and a penalty of Rs 1 lakh was imposed on him. The court said it appeared to have been filed with mala fide intention with a view to gain “cheap publicity”.

Santosh had claimed that since the money in the scam was allegedly offered to save the government headed by the prime minister, his involvement in offering money to MPs was obvious and a case should be registered against him.

Lalu dissolves RJD Delhi unit

Embarrassed over the Santosh Suman episode after finding out that the lawyer was a member of the RJD, party president Lalu Prasad on Saturday dissolved the RJD’s Delhi unit with immediate effect, reports DHNS from Patna.

“It was not a right forum to protest diesel price hike... the method adopted (taking off shirt and climbing on the desk) by the so-called RJD member was bad. I have, therefore, dissolved the Delhi unit of the RJD with immediate effect,” said Lalu, who is trying to re-enter the good books of the Congress.

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