On day two of the Monsoon Session of Parliament, Samajwadi Party members in the Rajya Sabha protested against over incidents of lynchings and cow vigilantes.
During the Question Hour, which began post noon, Samajwadi Party members rushed to the well of the House and shouted loudly in protest. The House had to be adjourned for ten minutes.
The noisy scenes erupted after the government said the states have all the powers to deal with incidents of mob lynchings and there was no need to change the existing law.
“I don’t think there is a need to bring changes in the law,” Minister of State for Home affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said when asked by Congress’ Digvijaya Singh if the government intended to bring changes in the existing law to curb such violence.
Dissatisfied with the government’s reply, Samamjwadi Party MPs raised slogans and created an uproar.
In the Zero Hour, Opposition members raised issues regarding the agrarian crisis in the country. Members said farmers were being forced into distress sale of crops in the face of cheaper zero-duty imports.
Several members gave notices under rule 267 that allow adjournment of the proceedings to take up a discussion on an issue.
Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said a discussion on the matter has been accepted and the members can raise their points during the debate.
Raising the issue, Sharad Yadav (JD-U) claimed that 15-20 farmers were committing suicide every day. He said the production of pulses has been raised by 33 per cent but the government has lowered the import duty on it to zero, resulting in cheaper shipments into the country.
Digvijaya Singh of the Congress said the farmers were getting “bullets instead of price”.
Kurien said besides Yadav, Pramod Tiwari (Cong), Naresh Agarwal (SP), Ram Gopal Yadav (SP), Kapil Sibal (Cong) and Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) had given notice under 267 on the same issue.
A discussion on the subject has been admitted and the members can raise their points then, he said.
Ali Anwar Ansari (JD-U) through a Zero Hour mention raised the issue of manual scavenging to say that the practice continued even after the government had declared it illegal.
Four workers, he said, died in the national capital due to toxic gases while cleaning a septic tank.
“All four are dalits,” he said. He also added that over 2,500 dalits had lost their lives in last two-and-half-years because of manual scavenging but no cases had been registered or compensation had been paid.
The government, on one hand talks of going to Mars, on the other it provides no equipment or apparatus for such cleaning activities, he said.
(With inputs from PTI)