J&K Opposition Demands Compensation to Victims of Snow Avalanche

J&K Opposition Demands Compensation to Victims of Snow Avalanche

Opposition MLAs in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly today demanded compensation for the victims of snow avalanche in Banihal and accused Speaker Kavinder Gupta of trying to muzzle the voice of dissent.

"You cannot muzzle the voice of opposition," senior National Conference leader and party MLA Ali Mohammed Sagar said after the Speaker asked not to create disturbance in the House.

Accusing the Speaker of being the voice of the government, National Conference's Devendra Singh Rana said, "You are not the Speaker of the government, but you are the Speaker of the House."

He said the Speaker was not allowing the opposition to raise its voice of dissent in the House, "Whenever there is a voice of dissent, you force us to stop and you make us sit. You asked them to present three reports but they are not following your directions," Rana said.

The pandemonium in the House began after Congress MLA from Banihal, Vikar Rasool raised the demand of compensation for the victims of snow avalanche in Banihal where two women and a boy had lost their lives.

"Why they have not been given any compensation so far, government should give them compensation. This is a major loss, loss of human lives and the government seems to be totally non serious," Rasool said.

Demanding compensation for the victims, he staged a walkout from the House.

"Their anger is justified, from the government side I can assure you that whatever is possible under rule, we will give them," Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said.

Unsatisfied with the government's response, the opposition members joined by Congress and National Conference MLAs staged a protest demanding that compensation must be given to the victims.

National Conference MLA and former Speaker Mohammed Akbar Lone said, "The government is under obligation to inform the House about whatever happens outside the House, you are answerable to the House."

However, Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu said that the government has followed all the directions of the Speaker and out of three, two have already been followed and the third was under process.

Drabu also accused the former speakers of the House of bringing a "disrepute" to the Chair, "Don't give lessons to the Speaker, we have seen in the past how abusive speakers were who brought disrepute to the Chair," he said.

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