Question Hour was suspended in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha to discuss the North-East issue. Here are the highlights of what the parliamentarians discussed in both the houses. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (in Rajya Sabha)
(Prime Minister intervening in Lok Sabha)
- I congratulate the honourable members that they have spoken with great restraint
- North-East is a very sensitive region
- Whatever happened in Kokrajhar and other areas should not be used as an occasion to create discord in other parts
- We must work together to create an atmosphere when this rumour-mongering will come to an end
- People of North-East should feel that any part of this country welcomes them
- Anybody rumour-mongering should be brought to book
country belongs to them, as to anyone of us. We want to send out a
message to all those who want to jeopardise this unity that this House
stands united on that and we will work together to create security,
control elements who want to create trouble.
Sushilkumar Shinde, Home Minister
- I rise not to reply to various points raised in debate but merely to add my voice to the feelings in the house.
- What has been happening creates insecurity in North Eastern people living in various part of the country. This is most reprehensible.
- I urge my govt to work to assure the NE population in various parts that they have as much right to live and study anywhere.
- The unity and integrity of the country has been jeopardized. I urge the house to send a message loud and clear- that our people are one.
- We will do anything to provide security- this is an obligation that we will discharge to the best of our abilities.
- We will work to restore peace, amity so that this feeling of insecurity is curbed.
- I was monitoring from where these messages are emanating. We are tracking the messages on Facebook and internet. I have asked Director Intelligence to trace.
- It is difficult, but once we nab the perpetrators, we will not spare them
- It is very difficult to trace who started the rumours - they spread once started.
- I spoke to Maharashtra Chief Minister also - we are setting up helplines.
- But we have arrested 170 in Assam, and for the Pune incident 13 people. In Mumbai 24 people have been arrested.
- We are investigating - the crux of the matter is Assam which we discussed in detail in adjournment motion.
- I appeal to all students - India is your country, please come back to Mumbai, Pune, wherever you were studying.
- Three days ago, the Home Ministry alerted all states.
- We will respect the wishes of the house We will fulfil the assurances the PM has made.
Arun Jaitley, BJP leader (in Rajya Sabha)
- A situation like this, where a fear psychosis is created. So gentle are the people that they denied it even sitting in trains.
- It is important that this panic situation comes to an end. This exodus should stop, and people should go back.
Sushma Swaraj, Leader of the Opposition
- Let us rise above political lines...I have two requests
- In Karnataka, the Home Minister reached the train station himself and organised food for students from North East leaving the city. The Chief Minister met all members of North-East community. Please set up helplines...organise patrols in areas where they live...let them be rest assured that they are looked after. Set up helplines for them everywhere.
- Let us say in one voice in this Parliament to all residents of the North-East that this country is yours...we are all with you...study, live where you want...you will be looked after
- One of the kids who came to meet me said in Mumbai the Government could not protect the police, how will they protect us?
- I sent them to the police commissioner who assured them
- The Government is speaking in different voices - on Assam accord and Bodo Council
- All state governments should not just give verbal assurances
Sharad Yadav, JD(U) leader
- When the CM, PM or Home Minister say that we will take strong steps, how many people will you take steps against
- People are dividing this country and this society - no one is untouched from this division, everyone is in it till his neck
- Mr Home Minister, I don't blame you. Who will you act against? Rumours aren't the only issue
- Mr Yadav cites the instance of Mahatma Gandhi who spent the day of India's Independence in Noakhali and Kolkata stopping riots, fighting communal tension
Sudeep Bandhpadyay (Trinamool Congress MP)
- Whenever an incident occurs in the North East part of the country, West Bengal is to share the load as it is the gateway to the North-Eastern region.
- We believe in unity in diversity, communal harmony.
- When we find people from North-East have become panic stricken, we become worried. Parliament should rise to the occasion and ensure the panic is to be removed.\
- If necessary, a parliamentary delegation can go there and assure the panic stricken people.
TKS Elangovan, (DMK MP)
Lalu Prasad Yadav, RJD Leader
- This is shameful for the South. People from the North have always been welcomed.
- When I see newspaper reports, I feel sorry - somewhere we have failed.
- All political leaders of South should take this as a personal 'shame' - we should host people who come to us properly
Ninong Ering, Congress MP, Arunachal Pradesh
- Don't we know who was smsing from where? Who was using Facebook, Youtube?
- Take strict action, no matter what. Who are these people? They want to break the nation into pieces.
- If you say break their leg, they'll just get physiotherapy. There should be strictest action.
Jay Panda, BJD MP
- There has been dialogue. But still this is a serious situation. I am very upset still at the prevailing circumstances.
- Small instances happened over the years- but I always considered myself a part of the nation.
- There are people targeted because of their Mongolian features. This is our country, if we don't feel a member of this nation, then it won't matter where we are in the country.
- Hard steps should be taken against those who have been involved.
- Everyone is worried; Muslim, Hindu etc etc we need to move beyond these differences.
- It's important to maintain an atmosphere of brotherhood. We should unite, and say that we are India. We are proud to be Indian.
- We have experienced similar difficulties in Odisha - we got central forces after 5 days.
- I have 2 suggestions- We need a rapid action force of central forces for immediate deployment because states are sometimes overwhelmed.
- The Rapid Action Forces needs to have other assets - technical competence to track down rumours on internet, etc etc.
- We must commit ourselves to fast track prosecution of those who perpetrate such acts.