Odisha Assembly Adjourned Several Times as Oppn Congress Creates Ruckus Over Hathras Incident
The Hathras victim's body was cremated in the dead of the night.
The Odisha Assembly was adjourned several times on Saturday as members of the opposition Congress created ruckus in the well of the House over the alleged gang-rape in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras that has triggered a nationwide outrage. The issue was raised by Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Narasingha Mishra as the House assembled for the day at 10.30 am.
The Congress MLAs shouted slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, protesting against the incident.
They also condemned the BJP-led government in UP for the "misbehaviour” towards Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
Unable to run the House, Speaker S N Patro adjourned the proceeding thrice, first for 10 minutes at 10.58 am, then for 15 minutes and finally from around 11.30 am till 3 pm. The speaker invited CLP leader Mishra, Leader of opposition PK Naik, Parliamentary Affairs Minister B K Arukhaand Jajpur MLA PP Das for an all-party meeting in his chamber.
During the protest, Congress members led by Taraprasad Bahinipati and Suresh Routray rushed to the well of the House and shouted slogans. As Bahinipati attempted to climb the speaker's podium, the House was adjourned till 3 pm. Mishra termed the ’high-handedness’ of the UP Police as unfortunate.
Opposition leader Naik of the BJP said that there is no point in disrupting the proceedings of the Odisha Assembly over an incident in Uttar Pradesh. He said similar incidents have also taken place during the Congress rule.
Naik's statement was not audible enough due to the pandemonium in the House. The Congress MLAs’ protest in the House followed the party's agitation outside the Assembly for two days over the alleged manhandling of the Gandhis.
Outside the Assembly, BJD MLA and former minister Snehangini Chhuria said that her party strongly condemns the Hathras incident. The police and the administration are functioning under the direction of the government there, she said, adding that the BJD demands justice for the Dalit woman and her family.
The 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly raped at a village in Hathras by four men on September 14. After her condition deteriorated, she was referred to the Delhi’sSafdarjung hospital where she breathed her last on Tuesday.
She was cremated in the early hours of Wednesday, with her family alleging the local police forced them to conduct the last rites in the dead of the night. Local police officers, however, had said the cremation was carried out ”as per the wishes of the family”.