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Doda killings genocide, ethnic cleansing: BJP

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 15 (UNI) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today described the recent killings at Doda and Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir as ''genocide and ethnic cleansing'', saying the ''attitudes of the state chief minister and the Union Home Minister'' were a matter of concern.

''What we are witnessing in Jammu and Kashmir is a combination of four-fold factors--genocide, ethnic cleansing, acts of terror and, more importantly, the attitudes of the state Chief Minister and the Home Minister,'' Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Jaswant Singh said during Question Hour.

Mr Singh said a total of 36 people were killed in terrorist attacks at Doda and Udhampur on April 29-30 and again at Doda on May 13.

Expressing serious concern over the terrorist incidents in Jammu and Kashmir in recent times, Mr Singh, who was allowed to raise the issue following suspension of Question Hour, said when the BJP undertook a dharna against the killings at Doda, it was attacked by grenades.

Amid repeated interruptions from the treasury benches, the BJP leader said he had never treated the Question Hour in a casual manner.''But the enormity of the Doda killings warrants that the Question Hour be suspended and the matter discussed in the House.'' Launching an acerbic attack on the Congress members who tried to interrupt him, he said, ''The ruling party members were ''perhaps disinclined to stand up and condemn the incident.'' This remark evoked louder protests from the Congress members, who continued to raise objections to suspension of Question Hour.

In between, Rajya Sabha Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat turned down the Congress' demand to raise a point of order. ''I have not given a ruling on the opposition demand to suspend the Qusetion Hour. I only want the members to listen to the speech of the Leader of the Opposition and then take a decision.'' The repeated pleas of the Chair to allow Mr Singh to finish his speech fell on deaf ears, forcing the Chairman to adjourn the House till 1200 hrs.

UNI SKS/RB MSJ DB1221

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