Andhra legislators nearly come to blows discussing terrorism

December 4th, 2008 - 6:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyHyderabad, Dec 4 (IANS) Members of the opposition in the Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly Thursday nearly came to blows as a debate over terrorism took an ugly turn. Legislators of the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) nearly assaulted one another as they exhanged accusations of being responsible for the spread of terrorism.

The entire episode started during an impromptu debate on terrorism, arising out of a question by sole BJP legislator G. Kishan Reddy about Octopus, the anti-terror force proposed to be set up by the state government.

Referring to Wednesday’s incident in this city when three terror suspects opened fire on two policemen, Kishan Reddy said the city was turning into a haven for terrorists but the government was soft towards them.

MIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi launched a scathing attack on the BJP, claiming the demolition of Babri Masjid by “Hindu terrorists” gave birth to terrorism in India, and he charged the TDP with being a “a silent spectator to killings of thousands of Muslims in Gujarat”.

Both the TDP and the BJP took strong exception to his remarks and responded vociferously. Amid the heated arguments, MIM member Ahmed Pasha Khadri and some TDP members nearly came to blows.

As the tension mounted, Speaker K.R.Suresh Reddy adjourned the house for some time.

When the house re-assembled, members of the TDP and the MIM again engaged in heated exchanges.

TDP chief and Leader of Opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu questioned the MIM’s support to the Congress government, observing that it was during the Congress rule that the doors of the disputed structure in Ayodhya were opened, the foundation stone for the temple laid, and the mosque demolished.

However, Owaisi retorted that it was former prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao who was responsible for the demolition but the Congress party later tendered an apology to Muslims, adding he wondered why the TDP did not withdraw support to the BJP-led NDA government despite the “massacre of Muslims” in Gujarat.

He claimed the BJP had no right to talk about terrorism as it was the “root cause of the menace” and was also supporting those involved in Malegaon blasts.

He said the person who opened fire at policemen Wednesday was not involved in any terrorist activity and the case against him was for possessing “Jihadi” literature.

Denying this was a crime, Owaissi sought to know if he or any other legislator would be termed a terrorist if they wanted to know what Jihad is and study the subject. This evoked a strong reaction from the BJP legislator, who alleged that the MIM leader was supporting terrorists.

During his reply to the nearly five-hour long debate, Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy said every responsible Muslim leader was opposing terrorism, and advised all parties to unitedly fight against terrorism.

“The terrorists want to alienate Muslim community to destabilise this country. They are trying to lure some weak minded Muslims to execute their plans. If one in a million falls into their trap, it is unfair to blame the entire community,” he said.

“By doing so, we are helping terrorists succeed in their plans,” the chief minister added.

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