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Protests against Burhan Wani killing: Opposition stalls Assembly demanding compensation for civilian deaths

Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly witnessed noisy scenes on Monday as the opposition members stormed the Well of the House accusing the PDP-BJP government of adopting double standard on the issue of compensation to those killed during unrest in the Valley last summer.

As soon as the House met, the opposition members led by National Conference MLA Ali Mohammad Sagar demanded the government must clear whether it will grant compensation of Rs five lakh each to the next of kin of those killed in the last year’s five month long unrest in the Valley. “Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had made this announcement of giving compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the people killed in the unrest but BJP which is part of the coalition is objecting to it,” Sagar said.

All the opposition members stormed into the Well of the House and raised slogans like ‘Hamaray Sawalon ka Jawab Do’ (give answers to our questions) and ‘Dohri policy nai chalay gi (Double policy will not work),’ as they continued to disrupt the House proceedings.

With regard to demand for rehabilitation of families of those who lost their lives, last week Mehbooba had said in the Assembly, “They are our own children and we have to ensure their rehabilitation. We have kept an amount of Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia as compensation for the next of kin in case of deaths. In any such extreme case, the government is committed to provide jobs to the next of kin to these families and the children who have lost their eyesight. Our government is ready to provide jobs to their family members,” she said, adding that those having permanent disability will get Rs 75,000.

However, the coalition partner BJP in its executive meeting held on Sunday passed a resolution that it would oppose any move of the state government which “encourage the anti-national elements and demoralize the nationalistic forces”.

NC MLA Devender Singh Rana said when Mehbooba made the announcement (of compensation), the Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh was sitting next to her and he did not say anything. He said Nirmal along with other BJP ministers had passed the resolution of “opposing the grant of compensation in their executive body meeting.”

The opposition members remained in the Well for 15-20 minutes as the Rana demanded resignation of the Deputy CM. “If you don’t have coordination, the Deputy Chief Minister you must resign,” he said. The pandemonium continued as the opposition members continued with their protests demanding “clarity on the issue from the government”.

Heated exchange of words were witnessed between NC and BJP members.