Uproar in Haryana assembly as Cong raises Nuh issue, speaker stalls discussion
The Haryana assembly witnessed unruly scenes as Congress MLAs demanded to discuss the law and order situation in Nuh
The Haryana assembly was briefly adjourned on Monday following an uproar as the opposition Congress raised the issue of the violence in Nuh and sought a probe monitored by a high court judge.
Communal clashes erupted in Nuh and its adjoining areas after a Vishwa Hindu Parishad procession was allegedly attacked by a mob on 31 July, leading to the death of six people, including two home guards and a Muslim cleric.
When zero hour commenced in the assembly on Monday, Congress members demanded a discussion on the Nuh violence, but speaker Gian Chand Gupta said the matter was subjudice.
While leader of the opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda said only the matter pertaining to the bulldozer action by authorities in Nuh was pending before the high court, Congress leader Kiran Choudhary asserted that they were raising a law and order issue and it should be discussed.
"Chief minister (Manohar Lal Khattar) had recently made a statement on the Nuh incident pointing towards a conspiracy. A discussion here on the issue will make things clear. We are also demanding a judicial inquiry into the incident," Hooda said.
BJP member Satya Prakash, however, alleged that the foundation of the Nuh violence was laid in the assembly when Congress MLA Mamman Khan made some "inflammatory remarks" on the floor of the house during the previous session.
Amid angry exchanges, the Speaker adjourned the House for 30 minutes. When the house reconvened, Prakash insisted that the Mamman Khan issue should be discussed, but the speaker repeatedly said the Nuh matter is subjudice.
Congress legislator BB Batra wanted to know that if Parliament could discuss the Manipur matter, on which the Supreme Court has taken suo motu cognisance, then why cannot the Nuh matter — barring the "bulldozer action part which is before the high court" — be discussed in the assembly.
The speaker said the Nuh and Gurugram violence was also part of the matter before the high court, and therefore the issue cannot be discussed in the house.
Choudhary said the subjudice matter is only on a specific issue, and it is not that the entire law and order matter cannot be discussed. "We want to know where there was a law and order breakdown (in Nuh)," she said.
Her party colleague Batra told the house that while the speaker cited rules to say that subjudice matters cannot be discussed in the house, article 194 of the Constitution says that there shall be freedom of speech in the legislature. "There was discussion on the Manipur issue in Parliament," Batra said.
Hooda claimed that the BJP government stands exposed on the law and order matter and was "running away" from giving a reply.
Batra and Hooda insisted the speaker give his ruling on the matter. Hooda also alleged that the BJP government was running away from the Congress' demand for a high court judge-monitored probe into the Nuh clashes.
Haryana home minister Anil Vij said what happened in Nuh was "very wrong".
"We are a democratic and a secular nation where people can practice the religion of their choice. In this context, the VHP had taken out a Brij Mandal Yatra," he said.
At this, the Speaker interjected, saying if the state home minister starts giving a reply, it would mean discussing the entire issue. Vij, however, said he would not make a detailed statement, but limit himself to saying a few things regarding the Nuh incident.
"As per the investigations so far, 500 people have been arrested and the role of people which is coming to the fore, points to the hand of the Congress," Vij said, triggering an immediate reaction from the Congress benches with its MLAs raising slogans against the state government.
"Police issued a notice to Congress MLA Mamman Khan, asking him to join the investigations in the Nuh incident. In the previous session, Khan had made a statement in the assembly," Vij added.
As the ruckus continued, the speaker adjourned the House for a lunch break.
Earlier, opposition members had demanded minister Sandeep Singh's resignation following a Chandigarh Police chargesheet in a sexual harassment case against him. When the House resumed, other matters were taken up.
Days after the Nuh violence, a demolition drive was initiated in Nuh which came under the high court scanner on 7 August, with Justices GS Sandhawalia and Harpreet Kaur Jeevan taking suo motu cognisance and halting the exercise.
The high court had asked if the demolition drive was an "exercise of ethnic cleansing".
The Haryana government has defended its demolition drive in Nuh, saying no structure was razed going against the law and the exercise was "not remotely a case of ethnic cleansing".