Oppn Asks For Farooq’s Presence In Lok Sabha

Opposition members in Lok Sabha on Monday sought the presence of National Conference (NC) member Farooq Abdullah as Speaker Om Birla informed them he has written information that he was in custody.

Members of Congress, DMK, Trinamool Congress were among those who urged the Speaker to ensure the presence of Abdullah.

Raising the issue after question hour, DMK leader TR Baalu and Saugata Roy of Trinamool Congress (TMC) urged the Speaker to issue instructions to the government for Abdullah’s presence in the House.

NC member Hasnain Masoodi said that Abdullah was in “preventive custody” under the Public Safety Act and he can be present in the House if the Speaker gives directions.

He said the Speaker was the custodian of the House and Abdullah’s presence in the House was a right of the 20 lakh people of Srinagar.

Baalu said that Abdullah’s detention was “illegal” and called upon the Speaker to interfere in the matter. “It is for you to interfere,” he said.

He also said that Farooq Abdullah’s son Omar Abdullah and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti were also in detention.

Furthermore, Roy said that Abdullah has been in detention since August and reasons have not been given. “Either instruct the government to release him or Home Minister should make a statement in the House,” he added.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that Abdullah was in custody for 108 days and “injustice was being done”.

He said there were continued restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 and while some MPs from Europe had been allowed to visit the Union Territory, the parliament members did not have free access to it. “It is an insult to all MPs,” he said.

Referring to a point made by Choudhary, the Speaker said that information had not come in August about Abdullah being in custody.

“Information about him being in custody has come in writing,” he said.

The Speaker added that members can discuss the matter in the Business Advisory Committee meeting and decide if they want a discussion on the issue.

Earlier, the opposition members protested in the House on various issues including their demand for Abdullah’s presence.

The members from Congress, NC, DMK came to the well of the House and raised slogans in favour of their demands which included the release of Abdullah. Also, NCP members supported them.


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