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Afzal hanging issue rocks Parliament; forces adjournments

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Nov 23 (UNI) The issue of hanging of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru today rocked both Houses of Parliament after slogan-chanting BJP-Shiv Sena members trooped into their wells demanding that he be sent to the gallows without any delay and mercy.

The Samajwadi Party members also raised slogans and entered the wells of both Houses, but on a different issue -- accusing the Congress-led UP government at the Centre of attempting to oust the Mulayam Singh Yadav Government in Uttar Pradesh and demanding the release of Abu Azmi, who was arrested in Mumbai for staging a rally despite ban orders.

As the Lok Sabha assembled for taking up Question Hour, the BJP-Shiv Sena members leapt to their feet, waving placards, newspapers clippings and chanting slogans 'Afzal Ko Faansi Do (Hang Afzal!), accusing the government of being soft towards the minority.

Failing to restore order, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee first adjourned the House till 1115 hrs, but when the House re-assembled the BJP-Shiv Sena combine and the SP members again entered the well, creating pandemonium following which the Chair once again adjourned it till 1400 hrs.

Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned for an hour and later for the day as the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members created uproarious scenes in the House for the ''delay'' in carrying out the death sentence to Mohammad Afzal.

BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, S S Ahluwalia and Rudra Narain Pani spearheaded the attack on the government for the delay in hanging the main accused for the attack against Parliament.

Amid the din, Samajwadi Party members Shahid Siddiqui and Amar Singh also alleged that the Centre was planning to destabilise the Mulayam Singh government in Uttar Pradesh on the law and order issue which they claimed was ''perfect''. They were also seeking the release of Mr Azmi.

Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat first adjourned the House till 1200 hrs, but when it re-assembled Deputy Chairman Rahman Khan adjourned it till tomorrow.

Earlier, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh introduced to the House newly inducted ministers in his Cabinet -- Minister of Defence A K Antony, Minister of State for Water resources Jai Prakash Yadav and Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting M H Ambareesh.

The Chairman also mourned the death of former member Bhanu Pratap Singh.

UNI JSS/RT/RB RL HS1310

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