Suryanelli gangrape protest: Speaker pulls up LDF women MLAs for scaling podium

Suryanelli gangrape protest

Kerala Assembly Speaker G Karthikeyan today reprimanded four opposition LDF women MLAs for scaling his podium and raising slogans during zero hour on Thursday while protesting over the Suryanelli gangrape issue.

The MLAs pulled up by the Speaker under the relevant provision of the Code of Conduct of the House were K K Lathika, Aysha Potti, K S Saleekha (all CPI-M) and Jameela Prakasam (JD-S).

Announcing this in the House during zero hour, Karthikeyan said the Chair was not against the members' right to register their protests over issues but there was a limit to the way they conduct themselves in the House.

The MLAs had jumped on to the Speaker's podium and shouted slogans after the government rejected the opposition's demand for suspension of police officers who allegedly roughed up two women MLAs during the demonstration staged by Leftist women outfits outside the House over alleged involvement of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson P J Kurien in the gangrape case.

The Speaker recalled that when a similar incident happened earlier, the Chair had taken a generous approach of just reminding the members that they should introspect themselves about their conduct and avoid such behaviour in the future.

The Chair had also barred the watch-and-ward being present inside the House, which marked a deviation from the earlier practice. But yesterday's incident showed that the gesture was not reciprocated by the members, the Speaker added.

The Speaker also regretted that the floor leaders of their parties did not control the behaviour of their colleagues.

The CPI(M)-led LDF opposition had yesterday forced the adjournment of the Assembly over alleged police excesses against the women MLAs, the third day that it was disrupting proceedings in connection with the case.

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