Anger Over Moga Murder Singes Parliament, Demand for Punjab Minister's Sacking

Anger Over Moga Murder Singes Parliament, Demand for Punjab Minister's Sacking

CPI(M)'s Sitaram Yechury demanded the sacking of a Punjab minister who called the teen's death an "act of God"

New Delhi: Both houses of Parliament were adjourned repeatedly this morning as the opposition protested noisily demanding a discussion on the death of a 14-year-old girl who was molested and then thrown off a bus in Punjab's Moga last week.

Here are the latest developments:

  1. In the Lok Sabha, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan rejected an adjournment motion moved by the Congress, seeking suspension of Question Hour to discuss what it called "growing lawlessness" in Punjab. She promised to allow Congress leader Amarinder Singh to speak after Question Hour.

  2. Capt. Amrinder Singh said, "Moga is a culmination of what is happening in Punjab... law and order and the economy are in shambles in Punjab." He had earlier demanded President's Rule in Punjab, which is governed by partners Akali Dal and the BJP, also in power at the Centre.

  3. The government objected to the issue being raised again in Parliament; the Moga murder was first brought up in the Parliament last week by Congress and Aam Admi Party lawmakers. The Speaker too observed that "the Issue has already been raised and cannot be brought up again and again."

  4. In the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the state government took immediate action and it was not proper to discuss the working of state governments in the House.

  5. Akali Dal Lawmaker Naresh Gujral also argued that law and order is a state subject and not under Parliament's purview, which earned a sharp retort from Communist leader Sitaram Yechury who said that it was a crime against a woman and a Dalit and so was definitely a matter for Parliament to discuss.

  6. Mr Yechury also demanded the resignation of an Akali Dal minister in Punjab. "A standing minister has said that this is the act of God, that there's no crime in it. I think such a minister should not remain in office," he said. The Congress' demand for President's Rule in Punjab was supported in Parliament by the Left and Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party.

  7. Opposition parties have attacked Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal of the Akali Dal and his family, which co-owns Orbit Aviation, the company that runs the bus in which the teen was molested and then thrown off. The bus driver, conductor and cleaner have been arrested and charged with murder.

  8. Mr Badal's son and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal co-owns the bus company. His wife, Harsimrat Kaur Badal is a minister at the Centre in the BJP-led Narendra Modi government. The Akali Dal and BJP bucked a trend of decades by winning a second straight term in Punjab in 2012.

  9. There have been massive protests in Delhi and Punjab, especially in Moga, where the teen's mother, also assaulted and pushed off the bus, is in hospital with severe injuries.

  10. The Opposition alleges that the staff of the private bus company has, for years, unleashed a reign of terror on Punjab roads, breaking the law with impunity with no fear of reprisal because of the Badal connection.