Ruckus in Ker Assembly over moral policing incidents

Ruckus in Ker Assembly over moral policing incidents

Acrimonious scenes were witnessed in Kerala Assembly today as the ruling LDF and the Opposition UDF MLAs nearly came to blows over Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's remarks on moral policing.

Trouble erupted during the Zero Hour when the House was discussing a notice for an adjournment motion moved by UDF on the recent moral policing incidents, including one by Shiv Sena activists in Kochi yesterday.

The House plunged into turmoil at the fag end of the discussion on the issue when Vijayan said that there are doubts that Shiv Sena activists at Kochi were hired by the Opposition.

UDF members, many of them already squatting in the well of the House protesting against the police lapse in preventing the Kochi incident, got agitated over the remark.

Vijayan's comments that "I doubt whether you (UDF) are behind yesterday's drama in Kochi" further infuriated the already agitated UDF members.

When some of the Opposition members moved towards the chair of the chief minister, the LDF MLAs immediately formed a protective ring around Vijayan.

There were heated exchange of words between the members of both fronts.
Even the chief minister was seen making a point to the UDF MLAs.

He later clarified that when a UDF member allegedly made some threatening gestures at him, he had remarked "do not threaten me... I have seen many such threats".

Vijayan also rejected the Opposition's charge that he had also rushed to the well of the House. Sensing the rising temperature in the house, Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan, ordered temporary adjournment.

When the House re-assembled after nearly an hour, the Opposition boycotted further proceedings in protest against the chief minister's refusal to to take back his words against the UDF.

Earlier, during his concluding speech on the notice for the motion, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala also referred to an incident at the temple town of Guruvayour yesterday.

He claimed that about 15,000 litres of water meant for use during the festivities at the lord krishna temple was drained off while it was being transported in a tanker lorry by some people in the presence of the police.

Intervening in the issue, Guruvayur MLA K V Abdul Khader alleged that two local UDF councillors were also involved in the incident. It was a dispute over drawing water and the matter was resolved following the district collector's intervention, Khader said.

In response, Chennithala alleged that Khader was trying to politicise the issue.
He also made some unsavoury remarks against the MLA, which was later expunged by the Speaker.

Describing today's developments as "unfortunate," the Speaker sought co-operation of all members for maintaining dignity and smooth functioning of the House.

Earlier, Vijayan made it clear that the state government would deal sternly with people indulging in moral policing and that they would be charged under provisions of the Kerala Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 2007.

He said the government also views the police lapse in Kochi incident as "very seriously." A group of Shiv Sena activists allegedly chased away young men and women yesterday who were sitting in the Marine Drive area here. Five Sena activists were taken into custody after the incident which evoked condemnation from the ruling CPI(M), and the Opposition Congress.

Malayalam TV news channels aired video footage showing a group of marching Sena activists, wielding sticks and chasing away the young men and women from Marine Drive, a tourist spot.

A sub-inspector has been suspended and seven other police officials transferred as part of the punishment following the incident, the chief minister.

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