Citizens' Issues
Rajya Sabha disrupted over Rohith Vemula's suicide
New Delhi : Loud anti-government slogans causing an uproar over the death of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula disrupted the Rajya Sabha Wednesday -- the second day of the long budget session of the Indian parliament.
 
The upper house was adjourned five times after members assembled for the day at 11 a.m.
 
After earlier adjournments in the morning, Chairman Hamid Ansari adjourned the house till 2 in the afternoon when members refused to let the house function and wanted the government to discuss Vemula's alleged January 17 suicide. 
 
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which has 10 members in the house, blamed the central government for the scholar's suicide in Hyderabad University. They gathered at the chairman's podium, demanding the government suspend the Question Hour and debate the issue first.
 
They raised slogans, seeking justice for the family members of the dead student. They alleged that the government was anti-Dalit. "Rohith ke parivar ko, nyaay dou, nyaay dou", "Dalit virdohi sarkar, nahin chalegi, nahin chalegi", they shouted incessantly in front of the podium.
 
BSP leader Mayawati insisted that the government should respond first and debate the issue. "This is not the first time a Dalit student committed suicide," the BSP supremo said.
 
"Rohith Vemula was Ambedkar supporter. RSS did not like this, he was exploited," Mayawati said, referring to B.R. Ambedkar, the author of the Indian Constitution, who was a Dalit leader.
 
The upper house was forced into five adjournments till afternoon despite Ansari making a passionate appeal to slogan shouting members, requesting them that they should let the Question Hour proceed and raise the issue later in the day.
 
"Disruption of question hour is violation of privilege of individual members. Is the house going on that track," Ansari asked.
 
"The questions have been listed and they have to be answered." 
 
The government as well as the chair pointed out that a debate on the Vemula death is listed for discussion later in the day.
 
But the protesting members didn't relent and continued with their slogan shouting near the chairman's podium.
 
The death of the Dalit student triggered widespread protests from opposition, who demanded action against central ministers Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya, who were blamed for forcing Vemula to take his life.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Meenal Mamdani

12 months ago

Disgusting behavior from BSP. If the question is on the schedule to be discussed later, then why the ruckus? Only to show their supporters that BSP can flex its muscle to disrupt Rajyasabha? If BSP cared so much for this Dalit student's suicide, where was it during all the preceding weeks of turmoil?

HC adjourned Kanhaiya's bail; police seeks remand
New Delhi : The Delhi High Court on Wednesday adjourned the bail plea hearing of JNU Student Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, arrested on sedition charges, for February 29.
 
Delhi Police told Justice Pratibha Rani that they are moving remand application to seek Kanhaiya's police remand which is required to confront him with JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, who surrendered on Tuesday Night.
 
The court deferred the hearing till February 29 after Kanhaiya's advocates Kapil Sibal and Rebecca John asked to postpone the hearing as they will oppose the police remand application.
 
Police said as Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya surrendered on Tuesday night following which they were taken into custody safely, now they need Kanhaiya's police custody.
 
Kanhaiya is in judicial custody that will expire on March 2.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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US fines French firm for doing business with Cuba
Havana : The US Treasury Department has fined a French firm for doing business in US equipment with Cuba in violation of the United State trade embargo against the Caribbean island nation.
 
CGG Services, a company specialising in geophysical services, was slapped with a fine of $614,250 for using "spare parts and equipment of US origin on oil and gas exploration vessels operating in Cuban territorial waters," Xinhua cited a Cuban daily as reporting.
 
The move came against the background of a diplomatic thaw between Washington and Havana, which announced in December 2014 their intention to normalise ties and just days after the first US company was given the green light to set up a factory in Cuba to make farm tractors.
 
Washington has yet to lift its 55-year-old embargo against Cuba, which calls it a blockade as it prohibits third countries from transacting with Cuba.
 
"The fine is yet another example of the extraterritorial scope of the blockade and its deterrent effect on foreign and even US companies," the report said.
 
The fine is also "inconsistent with the current context of relations between the two countries and demonstrates that in order to make real progress towards the normalisation of bilateral ties, the blockade must be lifted," it added.
 
Since December 2014, the US government has fined seven companies -- four from the US -- more than $2.8 billion for violating its trade embargo.
 
Such fines levied since the start of US President Barack Obama's administration in 2009 amount to $14.4 billion.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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