The Rajya Sabha witnessed a ruckus over the release of separatist leader Masrat Alam in Jammu and Kashmir, with several members calling it a compromise with national security.
Leader of the House Arun Jaitley made an assurance the government will not compromise on national security. However, Congress members trooped near the chairman’s podium, forcing a brief adjournment.
Raising the issue during zero hour, Congress leader Anand Sharma had submitted a notice to suspend the business of the house and discuss the issue.
Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien did not allow the suspension of business. However, some members were allowed to speak on the issue.
“Separatist in the jail were set free (in Jammu and Kashmir) and the state administration is encouraging it,” Sharma said raising the issue in Zero Hour.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati said: “This move (releasing Alam) is against national interest. The BJP has compromised with the separatists in greed of power. They must keep nation’s welfare above other things”.
Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Sharad Yadav demanded that the government explain how such a decision was taken.
Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien said it was a compromise with national security.
“The limited point here is security of the nation has been compromised. Why it has been compromised we want to know,” O’Brien said.
“It is pretty obvious selfish convenience of politics has won over conviction. Government needs to come clear on it,” he said.
PDP leader Mir Mohammad Fayaz meanwhile questioned why Congress did not have problem when Yasin Malik was released during the tenure of a PDP-Congress coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir.
“When PDP-Congress government was in power, Yasin Malik was released. Then there was no ruckus,” Fayaz said.
“People of Kashmir want peace. During NDA government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the people of Kashmir had come out and voted; now they have polled 70 percent votes. Do these people not want peace in Jammu and Kashmir,” he questioned.
Responding to the concerns raised by the members, Jaitley assured that the government will not compromise on national security
“Several members have expressed their concern. As far as our government is concerned, and our party is concerned, we have never compromised with national security,” Jaitley said.
“As far as the concerns expressed over release of a person, home ministry has sought a report from Jammu and Kashmir government. Some preliminary information has come,” he said.
Congress members, however, demanded a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and trooped near the chairman’s podium raising slogans.
Around 11.42 a.m. Kurien adjourned the house till 12 noon.