Ruckus in RS over Naqvi's statement on cow vigilantes in Alwar

Ruckus in RS over Naqvi's statement on cow vigilantes in Alwar
Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi's statement denying the lynching of a man transporting cows in Rajasthan by vigilantes today led the Congress to create a ruckus in the Rajya Sabha, demanding apology from him for misleading the House. In response to Congress member Madhusudan Mistry's Zero Hour mention yesterday on cow vigilantes in Alwar stopping a truck carrying cows from a cattle fair and thrashing its occupants leading to the death of a Muslim, Naqvi had stated that no such incident had taken place.

Today, he clarified that he was referring to Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh where no such incident had taken place. "We do not justify anarchy and hooliganism," he said, adding that the incident in Alwar did take place and an FIR has been registered against six persons.

While the state government was taking action under the law against the accused, Home Minister Rajnath Singh will make a statement on the issue in the House on Monday, he said. But Congress members were not satisfied by the clarification from Naqvi and demanded an apology from him for misleading the House. As Deputy Chairman P J Kurien did not find merit in their demand, they trooped into the Well of the House and shouted slogans.

This infuriated Kurien who angrily told them to go back and allow the Chair to speak. With Congress members continuing to raise slogans, an angry Kurien said he will not adjourn the proceedings. As Satyavrat Chaturvedi (Cong) argued with him to allow members to make their submissions on the issue, the Deputy Chairman shot back, "you are nobody to ask the Chair."

"A senior member of Congress comes to the Well and questions the Chair. Very bad. I am sorry," he said. "Congress members are behaving irresponsibly. I see no reason (for them to shout slogans)." As Congress members shouted "Sadan ko gumrah karna band karo (stop misleading the House)" and "mafi mango (apologise)," Kurien asked "why apologise." Naqvi also refused an apology with a gesture of hand.

As the logan-shouting continued, Kurien said "I will not adjourn. This is nothing but intimidation. I am sorry for the disciplined members. ... A few members cannot take the House to ransom." Kurien said as far as the Chair was concerned, the Minister's assurance that the Home Minister will come to the House and make a statement on Monday was enough.

Few minutes into the slogan shouting, Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad asked his party colleagues to return to their seats but not before blasting the government for undermining the Rajya Sabha. He said the Home Minister had made a statement in Lok Sabha yesterday and the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs should have fulfilled his duty by informing him that the issue has also been raised in the Upper House so that he could have made a statement yesterday itself.
"It is unjust... every day they are undermining Rajya Sabha," Azad said. Naqvi said the Home Minister is travelling to Andaman, but Azad countered saying either of the two Ministers of State for Home could have made the statement. "I am very sorry. This government should take Rajya Sabha seriously," he said.

Earlier, when the House met, Azad said the victim had gone to the cattle fair to buy cattle and chose a cow over a buffalo, after he was told that it would give more milk. Yesterday when the incident was raised, Naqvi, instead of accepting, had denied it. "Central Government should not protect these kinds of hooligans," he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Azad said, had last year spoken harsh words for cow vigilantes but actions on ground seem to suggest that BJP workers have been given a free hand. Azad said a BJP MLA in Rajasthan had said the death of the victim was caused by heart attack but the post-mortem by state government doctors confirmed thaty it was caused due to internal bleeding in stomach and chest caused by thrashing.

He said a person accused of slapping someone is remanded to 14-day police custody but in this case, the accused have been remanded to just one day custody, which indicates the intention to end this case.

Azad said Naqvi had misled the House and Kurien had yesterday directed him to ascertain the facts from the Home Minister and report to the House. He wanted to know when Home Minister would come and make a statement in the House.

Naqvi on his part said Mistry had in his Zero Hour mention stated that such incidents were happening in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat and when he stated that no such incident has taken place, he was referring to those states and not Rajasthan. No such incident has been reported in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, he said.
Terming the issue as "sensitive", he said it required sensitive handling and criminals should not be looked from the prism of religion, "otherwise a wrong message will go out, disturbing peace and harmony," Naqvi said.

While Sharad Yadav (JD-U) said he was shocked to hear Naqvi's statement yesterday, Satish Misra (BSP) said the action by Rajasthan government was nothing but a cover-up. Kurien said he agreed with the contention of the members that Naqvi had yesterday stated that no such incident had taken place and it was he who had instructed the minister to ascertain the facts from the Home Minister and report them to the House.

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