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LS adjourned over Kandahar episode

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Aug 25 (UNI) A senior Congress member's allegation against the role of former Prime Minister A B VAjpayee and his Home Minister L K Advani in the release of terrorists during the Kandahar plane hijack episode in 1999 led to uproarious scenes in the Lok Sabha forcing its adjournment for an hour.

Trouble erupted when Mr Madhusudan Mistry alleged that Mr Vajpayee and Mr Advani pressurised the then Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah to release two terrorists from the state's prison.

Holding aloft a newspaper cutting, he said Mr Abdullah had said in an interview to a prominent tabloid that he was not in favour of the release of the two dreaded terrorists and confided that the NDA leaders threatened to expel his party (National Conference) from the ruling NDA if he did not release the terrorists.

Mr Mistry was supported by members from the treasury benches who stood up and waved the paper cuttings.

His remarks generated instantaneous protests from the Opposition benches with the BJP members rushing towards the well of the house.

The members from the ruling side also rushed menacingly towards the well, but they were restrained by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Damunsi. However, they remained near the first row of the treasury side and shouted slogans against the BJP.

Ruling UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi was sitting in the front row of the treasury side.

The house plunged into pandemonium with both the sides indulging in shouting against each other at the top of their voice.

Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, who had a heavy agenda on hand on the last day of the month-long monsoon session, had no other go but to adjourn the house for an hour till 1600 hours and left for the chamber.

Earlier, Mr Mistry alleged that some terrorists were released in lieu of the passengers of the hijacked IC 814 jet of the Indian airlines at Kandahar as part of the ''soft'' approach of the BJP-led VAjpayee government against terrorists.

UNI SH vd GC1540

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