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Thursday, December 1, 2022

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Thursday, December 1, 2022
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Not-seen-before scenes in Punjab House

Chandigarh, June 23: In an unprecedented step, the Punjab Speaker ordered that all 19 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs be forcibly evicted from the Vidhan Sabha Punjab House. Marshals then physically lifted the MLAs, holding them by their arms and legs, causing injuries to some. Two legislators were hospitalised, even as women MLAs claimed they were inappropriately handled.

The turbans of at least four — Pirmal Singh Dhaula, Manjit Singh Bilaspur, Jai Kishan Singh Rodi and Amarjit Singh Sandoa  — were flung into the air, triggering a controversy over the “insult” to the Sikh symbol.

Furious, AAP and the Shiromani Akali Dal sought intervention of Akal Takht. The SGPC has decided to take up the issue at its executive committee meeting on June 26. “Marshals attacked our MLAs and removed the turbans of five. They dragged and insulted the women MLAs too,” said an agitated HS Phoolka, Leader of the Opposition.

A marshal, too, was injured. A  woman constable alleged that she was assaulted by an AAP MLA. Trouble began just six minutes into Question Hour when AAP MLA Kanwar Sandhu drew the Speaker’s attention to the ban on MLAs Sukhpal Khaira and Simarjit Singh Bains (Lok Insaaf Party) from the Assembly premises. Khaira was suspended last week for airing House proceedings on the social media and Bains for allegedly tearing the documents of a Congress MLA.

With AAP MLAs raising slogans and questioning the ban, the Speaker suspended all for the day and ordered that they be evicted. The MLAs were carried out by the marshals amid resistance. The turban of Pirmal Singh Dhaula was thrown up in the melee. The Akali MLAs too staged a walkout.

As they returned to the House with AAP MLAs sneaking in, the marshals swung into action again. ÄAP MLA from Sunam Aman Arora’s shirt was torn. “They (marshals) kicked us as if we were animals,” he said.

AAP’s Sarbjit Kaur Manuke and Baljinder Kaur fainted. It took 10 women constables to remove Baljinder Kaur as she firmly clutched on to a desk which fell when she was finally pulled away. Manuke shrieked in pain as she was pulled by the arm yet to heal after a fracture. Akali MLA Pawan Tinu too was pushed around.

Such was the scale of force used against MLAs, perhaps for the first time in the history of the House, that they had to be taken away on stretchers. Akali members walked out, protesting against the “murder of democracy”. Majithia carried the turban of AAP’s Bilaspur to the Sector 16 General Hospital. Sukhbir and Majithia left with AAP’s Phoolka, Sandhu and Arora in their car. Later, former CM Parkash Singh Badal visited the injured MLAs.

News Source: http://www.tribuneindia.com

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