Jaitley, Yechury cross swords in Rajya Sabha
Citing the incidents in JNU and Patiala House court, the opposition led by Congress on Thursday slammed the government in Rajya Sabha and alleged that law and order in Delhi had deteriorated, a charge rebutted by Home Minister Rajnath Singh who patted the back of police for handling the two cases. The opposition parties questioned slapping of sedition charge against some students of JNU and alleged that attempts were being made to save the perpetrators of violence in Patiala House court, claiming that Delhi Police was a “party” to the incident.
“The incidents which happened during last few days were handled by Delhi Police in a professional manner. Therefore, I am not in agreement that the law and order situation in Delhi has deteriorated during the recent past,” Singh said while replying to a debate on Calling Attention Motion on ‘Complete breakdown of law and order in Delhi’.
Earlier, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad questioned how a “doctored video” in JNU case could be the basis for slapping sedition charge when real videos of violence in Patiala court leads to only “FIR and bail within 30 minutes”.
Rajnath Singh said, “What happened at Patiala court was very sad and I condemn it again. No wise person will support it....I will only say that action has been taken. FIR has been registered.”
Amid slogans that weak sections have been imposed, Azad stood up and said, “We are not satisfied. They are being saved. We are walking out”.
The Congress, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, along with the Left then walked out.
Referring to slogans which called for war for destruction of the country and lauded terrorists who had been convicted by the highest judiciary, Jaitley questioned: “Can hate speech be called free speech?” CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury hit out at the BJP of trying to suppress dissent and impose their idea of a “theocratic, fascistic Hindu Rashtra” on the country and asked the government to “stop interfering” in universities which have been set up under central laws.
He demanded the setting up of a House Committee to examine the latest developments in various central universities, while initiating the debate in Rajya Sabha on the situation arising in the central institutions of higher learning, including JNU and Hyderabad University.
Smriti Irani read out from Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula’s Facebook post as she countered the Opposition’s onslaught over the issue regarding the Hyderabad university and the JNU sedition row. There was uproar in the Upper House as Irani mentioned the “Durga-Mahishasura” issue. To buttress her case about “anti-national” activities on the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus,
At this juncture Opposition members trooped into the well forcing adjournment for the day.