The Lok Sabha on Tuesday witnessed uproarious protests over the car crash in which the Unnao rape survivor was critically injured, with the Congress and other Opposition parties terming the incident a “blot on a civilised society” and demanding a statement by home minister Amit Shah in the House.
The government didn’t entertain the demand, rather three BJP parliamentarians hit back by accusing the Opposition of trying to malign the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh and claiming that the truck that hit the car of the rape survivor belonged to a Samajwadi Party leader.
Congress and some other Opposition members staged a walkout, raising slogans against the government in the Well of the House.
The Congress’s Lok Sabha leader, Adhir Chowdhury, said the entire country was ashamed because of the incident. He said that first a minor girl was gang-raped, then her father was killed and now a truck had hit the car in which she was travelling to eliminate the victim and witnesses.
BJP legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar, accused of raping the Unnao girl, has been named as a suspect by the police and charged with murder, attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy in connection with the car collision.
“The entire country is feeling ashamed today. This is a blot on civilised society,” Adhir said. “Sir, the government claims that Uttar Pradesh has become ‘uttam pradesh’ (the best state). But now Uttar Pradesh is heading towards becoming ‘adharm pradesh’ (God-forsaken state),” he added, prompting protests by BJP members.
Adhir said he was not trying to accuse any party or government of being involved in killing witnesses in the case, but added that the incident was so grave that the Union home minister should come to the House and give a statement. The Congress leader also demanded that the culprits be punished and that the surviving family members of the victim be provided protection.
Congress MPs trooped to the Well and shouted slogans demanding justice for the rape survivor. Shouting “we want justice”, the agitating members refused to vacate the Well despite requests by the Speaker to return to their seats.
In the din, parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi rose to accuse the Congress of politicising the issue and said the Adityanath government had launched an inquiry and was providing security to the victim’s family members. BJP member from Uttar Pradesh, Jagadambika Pal, claimed that the truck belonged to a Samajwadi leader and alleged a design to tarnish the image of the Adityanath government.
“The truck belongs to Samajwadi Party leader Amar Pal Singh. They are only trying to malign the image of the Yogi government,” Pal said.
The owner has been identified by the police as Devendra Kishore Pal.
Junior rural development minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, also from Uttar Pradesh, made the same claim. “The truck owner is from my area. He is an SP worker. They are accusing the BJP to save the SP,” she claimed.
Congress members kept shouting slogans in the Well, but the Speaker didn’t adjourn the House. Earlier, a united Opposition, including the Congress, Trinamul, DMK, SP and the BSP, had staged a protest in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue on the Parliament premises.
Amid the commotion, the Speaker took up the Consumer Protection Bill. After some time, the Speaker again allowed Adhir to raise the crash. The Congress leader said he was not playing politics and was only highlighting before the country the plight of a rape survivor.
He also pointed out how policemen deputed for the security of the rape survivor and the witnesses were not present when the truck hit the car. Adhir iterated his demand for a statement by home minister Shah in the House. The Congress and other Opposition members staged the walkout after the demand was turned down.