New Delhi: The molestation and death of a 13-year-old girl on being pushed out of a private bus near Moga in Punjab led to an uproar in Parliament on Tuesday, with both houses witnessing adjournments over the issue.
In the Lok Sabha, Congress leader Amrinder Singh and Aam Aadmi Party’s Bhagwant Maan moved adjournment motions to discuss the Moga case and demanded suspension of the question hour, but Speaker Sumitra Mahajan rejected the plea.
Singh said the Punjab government should be dismissed and President’s rule imposed in the state. Opposition members created a ruckus, displaying placards and raising slogans against the Parkash Singh Badal government in the state, forcing two adjournments during the question hour.
Orbit transport company which operated the bus is owned by Punjab’s Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. Members from the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), meanwhile, raised the demand for a separate high court for the state of Telangana.
The scene was no different when the house met again, and amid the din, the speaker was forced to adjourn the house till 2 p.m. In the Rajya Sabha, the issue of Moga molestation forced two adjournments during zero hour.
As soon as the house met, Congress leader Ambika Soni raised the issue. “There is a complete breakdown of law and order in Punjab…the Centre must intervene,” she said.
Congress leader Anand Sharma joined her and said the issue is “very serious” and the house should condemn the incident. Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien, however, said no notice was given to the chair for taking up the issue.
“I am not saying anything about merit of what you are saying. All I have said is, please give notice,” Kurien said. Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury urged the chair to allow the matter as it was important.
“Because of the importance of the incident, please allow us to discuss,” Yechury said. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the state government has taken immediate action against the culprits and it was not proper to discuss the working of state governments in the house.
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, meanwhile, demanded imposition of President’s rule in Punjab. However, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) members opposed taking up of the issue for discussion in the house.
Amid the ruckus, Kurien adjourned the house for ten minutes. When the house met again, similar scene were repeated and the chair adjourned the house till 12 noon.
The family of the Dalit girl, who died last Wednesday, had refused to allow her autopsy and cremation till the owners of the Orbit Aviation Transport company, implying Sukhbir Badal and others, were booked.
The mother and daughter were targeted with indecent gestures and were molested by some goons on the bus. When they resisted the molesters, including three bus staff, they were thrown out of the speeding vehicle.
The girl died immediately while the mother was admitted to a hospital in a serious condition. The body of the girl was brought by her family from the Faridkot Medical College and Hospital where her post-mortem examination was conducted. She was cremated at her native village in Punjab. Buses of the Orbit transport company were taken off the roads in Punjab on Saturday following orders from Sukhbir Badal.