| NDA members protest outside the Assembly. Picture by Prashant Mitra
Ranchi, Dec. 19: The death in Dasham waterfall of BIT student Abhishek Mishra today rocked the Assembly with the Opposition stalling proceedings to press their demand for a CBI investigation.
Abhishek, a final year computer student, died on December 8 at the waterfall where he had gone on a picnic with three friends, among who was Ragini, the daughter of railway minister Lalu Prasad. Abhishek’s father, S.C. Mishra of New Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, has been insisting on a CBI probe into his son’s death.
Soon after Question Hour, BJP member Chandresh Oraon moved an adjournment motion seeking a special debate on the tragedy.
Speaker Alamgir Alam asked him to allow Zero Hour to continue, but NDA members barged into the Well of the House, chanting slogans against the Madhu Koda government. They also accused the government of shielding criminals.
In the post-lunch session, the Opposition members did not allow the chief minister to speak on the issue, and stuck to their stand that the Speaker would have to issue a directive to the government for ordering a CBI probe.
Raghubar Das (BJP) and Radha Krishna Kishore (JD-U) alleged that there were several missing links in the theory put forward by the police on Abhishek’s death, which raised suspicion of foul play. Besides, the role of the state police was not above board, he added.
The House was adjourned for the day when the Speaker’s plea to restore order and allow Koda to speak failed.
The chief minister has earlier refused to order a CBI probe, saying the state machinery was competent to unravel the truth. Ranchi police chief N.P. Singh has already declared that Abhishek died due to “accidental” drowning.
The Opposition got a feeble rebuttal from the Treasury benches. Except for the RJD members and Congress legislator Pradeep Balmuchu, no other ruling party member stood up to counter the charges. “These men are raising such silly questions as they are not development-minded and have no other significant issue to raise. They are simply indulging in petty politics over an unnatural death,” said RJD member Girinath Singh.
Koda, though present in the House, kept mum. The din continued for over half-an-hour, forcing Alam to adjourn the House till tomorrow.
The special debate on the power scenario, scheduled in the second half, was the final casualty.
The NDA also took the opportunity to convince the JMM members to come out of the UPA. “Lalu ko bail, Guruji ko jail, yehi hai Congress ka khel (Bail for Lalu, Jail for Soren, this is the Congress’s gameplan),” the NDA members chanted.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad was acquitted in a disproportionate assets case yesterday. The JMM is upset as its chief is serving a life term and the NDA wants to cash in on this.
The Speaker later told The Telegraph that the NDA should have allowed Koda to speak. “I would have given my ruling only after knowing his stand. It was wrong for the NDA members to expect the answer in straight terms of a yes or a no,” he said.