Assam Assembly: Oppn Demands Discussion on Violence Along the Border

Noisy scenes prevailed in the Assam Assembly today as the Opposition parties - AGP, BJP, AIUDF and BPF demanded a discussion over violence along Assam-Nagaland border and killing of a school girl by NDFB(S) terrorists for allegedly being an informer of police.

While the Opposition AIUDF demanded resignation of the government as "it has no moral right," Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said the 16-year-old girl Priya Basumatary was "not a police informer."

As soon as the House met this morning, BPF MLA Pramila Rani Brahma raised the issue of killing of the girl at the beginning of the Question Hour, when Gogoi was present.

Joining her and adding the issue of violence at Uriamghat area in Golaghat district along the Assam-Nagaland border and the subsequent deterioration of law and order situation in the district, entire Opposition rose on their feet and shouted demanding a discussion over the two issues.

AIUDF's Abdur Rahim Khan said, "Meghalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh -- everyone is killing Assamese people. This government has no moral right to stay and it should resign immediately."

Brahma then walked into the well of the House and stood just in front of the Speaker's table for around 10 minutes raising the law and order situation of the state.

Speaker Pranab Kumar Gogoi said "Priya was killed a couple of days back but everyone kept silent. But after few days only, all started reacting and now you are also raising the issue... I will request the CM to make a statement after the Question Hour."

On this, AGP MLA Padma Hazarika said only a statement from the Chief Minister would not work and a discussion was needed as these two were very serious law and order issues.

Another AGP MLA Phani Bhusan Choudhury said the House can discuss the issue as per Section 144(2) of the rules of the Assembly proceedings provided the Speaker agrees to it. Congress MLA Himanta Biswa Sarma also urged the Speaker to give time to discuss the issues.

When the Speaker assured the House of giving a ruling to have a discussion during the additional time, the Opposition calmed down and the normal business started.

At 1:30 PM, the Speaker gave additional 30 minutes for the Chief Minister to make a statement after the day's proceedings were over, but the Opposition did not concede to it and left the House.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Nilamani Sen Deka said "The Assam-Nagaland border issue is sub-judice and a case is pending at the Supreme Court. The state government has said to give a CBI enquiry into the incidents following the violence. So it is not proper to have a discussion on this."

AGP's Choudhury reacted to this by saying that when the Chief Minister himself was ready to have a discussion, why was it not being allowed?

Then Deka said: "You (opposition) are not serious. Had you been serious with the topic, you would have brought it through a device so that we can have a discussion on it."

Speaker also supported Deka and asked the Opposition to bring the issue through a device for discussion tomorrow and the Chief Minister's statement should allowed to be read in the House today.

Environment and Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain also appealed the Opposition to first listen to the statement and then have a discussion on the topic.

However, the unrelenting Opposition did not pay heed to this and the House was adjourned for the day. Before leaving, AGP MLA Keshab Mahanta said: "There is no point to stay. We will bring a device and then come." 

Talking to reporters outside the Assembly Hall, the Chief Minister said: "Priya Basumatary was not a police informer. She was an innocent girl."

Gogoi said the girl showed extra courage and so the government announced Rs 20 lakh of ex-gratia, which is more than the usual amount paid to victims of terrorist attacks.

The state government also decided to establish a bravery award in her name, besides recommending her for the National Bravery Award, he added.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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