Parliament disrupted over 1984 killings, caste census, phone tapping

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

NEW DELHI - Ruckus by opposition MPs over the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, caste census and phone tapping disrupted question hour in both houses of parliament Tuesday.

Opposition members sought to raise the killing of Sikhs in Rewari district of Haryana in the anti-Sikh riots in 1984. The issue surfaced after a Sikh organisation claimed to have dug out the details of the massacre.

Speaker Meira Kumar had to adjourn the Lok Sabha till noon.

A mob had allegedly wiped out a Sikh village Nov 2, 1984, three days after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi. Thirty-two people were allegedly killed by the mob. The district administration has ordered preliminary inquiry into the incident.

Scenes in the Rajya Sabha were also noisy with MPs raising the issue.

As soon as the house met, opposition MPs of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) along with those of ally Shiromani Akali Dal sought to raise the issue. Chairman Hamid Ansari asked the members to give a notice and raise the issue during zero hour.

The members, however, could not be pacified and the house was adjourned till 12 noon.

There was also a din in the Lok Sabha over the caste census, with members demanding that the government state when and how it was likely to start collecting the demographic data of Indians on the basis of their caste.

MPs protested near the speaker’s podium creating a ruckus and forcing the chair to adjourn the house and call off question hour.

When the house reassembled at 12 noon, Home Minister P. Chidambaram referred to a paragraph in Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s statement in which he had promised that the caste census would begin in June.

“The census on caste will begin in June and end in September. If any honourable member wishes to make suggestions on how to go about it, we will consider the suggestions,” Chidambaram said.

AIADMK MPs also protested over phone tapping ordered by the government.

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