Uproar, walk-outs over killing of 2 IRP cops, Chamel Singh

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Mar 4: The Lower House of State Legislature today witnessed uproarious scenes and walk-outs from the Jammu-based Opposition MLAs over the killing of two IRP jawans in Kashmir valley and Chamel Singh, a resident of border area of Pargwal in the Pakistan jail. Later, both the issues were discussed in the House with Members of BJP, National Panthers Party, Jammu State Morcha and BJP breakaway group expressing serious concern over the alleged stoic silence maintained by the State Government on both the issues.
As soon as the proceedings of the House began, National Panthers Party Legislative Party leader Harshdev Singh raised the issue of killing of two IRP jawans—Santosh Singh of Kathua and Azad Chand of Chenani at Handwara by the militants in the broad day light.
“They fell prey to the bullets of the militants only because Government had disarmed them and given them lathis to perform duties in the militancy infested area”, Harshdev Singh said, adding “we want to know why they were disarmed and on whose orders”.
He was joined by the MLAs of BJP, Jammu State Morcha and BJP breakaway group, who collectively left their seats in protest and moved towards the well demanding immediate discussion on the adjournment motions on the killing of IRP jawans in Handwara and Pargwal resident Chamel Singh in the Pakistan jail.
As there was no response from the Chair to discuss the adjournment motions, all the Jammu-based Opposition MLAs started slogans—-“Katil Sarkar Hai Hai”. “This is a conspiracy to eliminate the nationalist people. We want to know as to why the cops were disarmed while being posted in the militancy infested area”, another NPP MLA, Balwant Singh Mankotia said.
BJP rebel MLA Prof Chaman Lal Gupta, while pointing towards the ruckus over the demand for discussion on Afzal Guru issue, remarked, “this House is not the personal property of anybody. The representatives of people from Jammu and Ladakh regions are also here and their issues should also be discussed”, adding “the killing of disarmed IRP jawans and Chamel Singh are important issues and should be thoroughly discussed as Government has not come up with any statement till date”.
Congress MLA from Chenani, Krishan Chander Bhagat too joined the issue and sought to know whether the family members of IRP jawans would be given ex-gratia and jobs on compassionate ground. As Speaker, Mubarak Gul allowed PDP MLA Mehbooba Mufti to start discussion on the adjournment motion on Afzal Guru issue, all the Jammu-based Opposition MLAs again resorted to sloganeering and later staged walk-out.
In the afternoon, Speaker allowed discussion on the adjournment motions moved by Prof Chaman Lal Gupta on IRP jawans killing and NPP MLA Harshdev and BJP MLA Jugal Kishore on Chamel Singh issue.
Initiating discussion on IRP cops killing, Harshdev Singh said, “this is a serious and sensitive issue. Posting disarmed cops in militancy infested area is not understandable. How can Government deploy cops with lathis to fight militants? Moreover, disarmed cops were deployed at a time when situation is very sensitive in the Kashmir valley”, adding “we want to know on whose orders the cops were disarmed. Government has to fix the responsibility”.
BJP MLAs, Ashok Khajuria and Jugal Kishore said, “the most disturbing fact is that this was a selective killing and the militants managed to escape after shooting the cops from point blank range”. The Congress MLA Krishan Chander Bhagat said, “a detailed investigation should be conducted into the incident in order to bring to light as to who had ordered disarming of the cops”.
The NPP MLAs Harshdev Singh and Balwant Singh Mankotia, BJP MLA Jugal Kishore and Prof Chaman Lal Gupta also stressed that State Government should pressurize the Union Government for bringing back the body of Chamel Singh from Pakistan.
Replying to the adjournment motion on the killing of two police men at Handwara, Minister of State for Home, Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo informed the House that on March 2, 2013 a law and order platoon of IRP 16th Battalion with non-lethal equipment was deployed near bus stand Handwara and the militants taking advantage of the crowded and busy place fired upon the two constables namely Azad Chand and Santosh Singh from very close range.
The enforcement was deployed swiftly but before the enforcement could reach the spot, the militants mixed up with civilian population and fled away from the spot, he said, adding the area was immediately cordoned off and search operation was launched. However, the culprits could not be traced so far.
Stating that investigation was still going on, the MoS Home said, “during routine patrolling the cops are given only lathis and this practice is going on for the past quite long time so the question of intentionally disarming the cops doesn’t arise”.
About Chamel Singh, the Minister said, “as per fax message received from Union Ministry of Home Affairs, the Indian High Commission in Islamabad has been formally told by the Pakistan authorities that post-mortem of the body of Chamel Singh, who died on January 15, 2013 at Lahore has been conducted and body will be handed over shortly”.
“The High Commission of India is also in touch with one of the sons of the deceased about the status of the case. The High Commission will bear the expenses of transportation of the body as an when it is handed over by the Pakistan”, he said.


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