National Conference protests suspension of its lawmakers

Srinagar, Oct 7 (IANS) The opposition National Conference (NC) legislators, including former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, on Wednesday staged a sit-in outside the state legislature here to protest the suspension of its four lawmakers.

“We are protesting against the suspension of four of our legislators from the session. Until the suspension of our legislators is revoked, we will continue to sit on protest,” Abdullah said.

“All we demanded yesterday (Tuesday) was information on what was the defence of the state government planned in a petition in the court against article 35A.”

Article 35A pertains to the special status of Jammu and Kashmir state in the Union of Indian states.

“The state government does not want any opposition in the house…,” Abdullah, who is the president of the opposition NC, told reporters during the sit-in by his party’s legislators.

NC legislators wore black stripes around their arms to highlight their protest.

After he could not restore order in the legislative assembly despite repeated intervention by the security staff to prevent opposition lawmakers from storming into the well of the house, Speaker Kavinder Gupta on Tuesday suspended two NC lawmakers, Altaf Ahmad Kaloo and Abdul Majeed Larmi, for the rest of the session.

Following ruckus by NC legislators in the state legislative council, the chairman also suspended two NC legislators, Ali Muhammad Dar and Showkat Ahmad, for the remaining period of the session.

Omar Abdullah later said on his twitter handle that the NC would not attend the remaining period of the legislature session to protest the suspension of its members.

The autumn session of state’s bicameral legislature started here on October 3 and will end on October 10.

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