LS Condemns Gurdaspur Terror Strike

New Delhi
LS Condemns Gurdaspur Terror Strike

The Gurdaspur attack today found its echo in Lok Sabha where members across the political spectrum condemned the incident and asked the government to use all the force to quell terrorism which continues to threaten the nation.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh will make a statement on the incident in Parliament tomorrow.

Members of Akali Dal, BJP, CPI(M) and BJD spoke on this morning's attack during the Zero Hour amidst the din created by members of Congress, NCP, Left, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, RJD, JD(U) and TRS over various issues.

Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge, who spoke later on the incident, condemned the attack but said there was an intelligence failure on part of the central government.

This elicited sharp reaction from Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who said, "This is a very serious issue. This is a national issue. Trying to find fault with the government when the encounter is on, this is not done... This is not the time to score points."

The Parliamentary Affairs Minister also emphasised that the House should have one voice on this matter.

Heavily-armed militants in army uniform sprayed bullets on a moving bus and stormed a police station, killing at least six people including an SP, and injuring eight others in Gurdaspur in Punjab, bordering Pakistan.

Prem Singh Chandumajra of Akali Dal, who raised the issue of the terror strike, urged the slogan-shouting opposition members to halt their protest in view of the attack as it was in the national interest.

"I appeal to you, in the national interest, halt your protest for two minutes as there has been an attack in Gurdaspur," he told the Congress members who were in the Well.

"This is a question of the country's security. People are dying... People of the state are watching. They are watching this drama (in the House)," the Akali member said.

BJD member Tathagat Sathpathy said the incident in Gurdaspur was a "grave matter" which shows that "once again terrorism is back with full force. It is not only display of ISIS flags, the threat of terrorism is perce

Sathpathy said all political parties should unite in the fight against terrorism. "We are not here to politicise... Strictest action should be taken. All force should be used. India should stand up to fight terrorism," he said.

TMC leader Sudip Bandopadhyay said the terror attack was a national issue and needs to be taken up for discussion on a priority basis. Other issues like corruption or the land acquisition bill also need to be discussed but "somewhere we should make a beginning," he said.

Mohd Salim (CPI-M) condemned the terror attack in Gurdaspur. At the same time, he questioned the "resurgence" of terrorism while observing that "the kind of politics in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir" was responsible for it.

BJP member S S Ahluwalia wanted the House to pass a unanimous resolution against terrorism coming from across the border, an apparent reference to Pakistan.

TRS member A P Jithender Reddy, while condemning the attack, welcomed that the Home Minister will make a statement.

Earlier, Congress members, holding placards in the Well, were demanding ouster of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the Lalit Modi and Vyapam controversies.

Complaining that he was "pained" at not being allowed to speak on the terror attack in Gurdaspur earlier, Kharge said it was not good and there was no justice.

"I was not allowed to express my views. I am hurt... I don't know who had exerted pressure," Kharge said and wondered what would happen if members are stopped from expressing their views in the House.

As soon as the House assembled at 2 PM after two adjournments, Kharge raised the issue before condemning the terror attack in Punjab.

Naidu then said that Home Minister Rajnath Singh would make a statement in the House on the incident after the encounter got over. However, Singh, who was visiting Neemuch in Madhya Pradesh today, would make the statement tomorrow.

Naidu said the Centre was in touch with the state and the House could discuss the incident after the Home Minister's statement. The attack is an important issue concerning the national security, he added.

Members from SP, RJD and JD(U) were also in the Well demanding release of caste data in the census report, while TRS members were seeking a separate High Court for Telangana.

Taking a dig at Congress for disrupting the proceedings, Naidu said those who create disruptions cannot find fault with the Speaker. "You cannot eat the cake and have it again."

Amid protests, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said that raising issues and holding placards both cannot go together. 

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