India concerned over killings in US, says Rajnath; Budget session resumes on noisy note

NEW DELHI : The proceedings in the Lok Sabha during the second part of Budget session today began on a noisy note with Opposition members including from Congress, AIADMK and Left parties trying to raise various issues including the alleged racial killings of Indians in the United States and about the safety and security of fishermen in the Indian Ocean. During mild pandemonium, Home Minister Rajnath Singh told the House that the government was serious about the incidents in the United States. Immediately after obituary references were made in honour of former Lok Sabha members who died during the month-long recess, Opposition members including M Mallikarjun Kharge (Congress), P Karunakaran (CPI-M), P Venugopal (AIADMK) were up on their feet seeking Chair’s permission to make their point. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, however, said members could raise their issues after Question Hour. Even as members remained unsatisfied, at one point of time Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav was also up on his feet trying to make his point. In the midst of noisy scenes, Mr Kharge raised the issue of racial killings targeted against Indians in the United States and questioned why the government has remained silent on the issue. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the government of India was concerned about the incidents in the United States and assured the House that Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who is leader of the House, will make a statement on the same once Question Hour is over. Mr Singh also said that the Centre has viewed the incidents in the US with utmost seriousness but added that the government will make a statement on it only next week. AIADMK members raised the issue of fishermen security in Indian Ocean. Even as the Speaker was requesting Mr Venugopal to agree to raise the issue after Question Hour, several AIADMK members trooped into the Well and raised slogans like ‘Save our Fishermen’ and ‘We Want Justice’. A 22-year-old Indian fisherman was shot dead on Monday while he was fishing in a mechanised boat. Local fishermen alleged that he was killed by the Sri Lankan navy while another was injured. The External Affairs Ministry has taken up the matter with Sri Lanka, which has also promised a full and thorough investigation. At Speaker’s repeated request later, the AIADMK members went back to their seats and the House took up the listed questions pertaining to the ministries of Rural Development and Road Transport and Highways.  (AGENCIES)

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