Jammu: Members of ruling BJP-PDP combine today attacked opposition National Conference in the J-K Assembly demanding arrest of former Minister of State for Home in Cong-NC government Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo in connection with the 2013 Kishtwar communal violence.
As the House assembled today, members from the treasury benches were on their feet raising slogans against Kitchloo. They displayed a news report which claimed that Justice Gandhi Commission probing the riots had indicted Kitchloo, the then Inspector General of Police (IGP) Jammu Rajesh Kumar, the then DIG Doda-Kishtwar range Ashkoor Wani and the then Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar Mohammad Saleem.
Amid protests and sloganeering, members demanded arrest of Kitchloo and a reply from the government over the issue.
Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Basharat Ahmed Bukhari said the government is yet to examine the report.
"We have received the report. We could not examine the report in view of being occupied with the budget session. We will study it," Bukhari told the House.
As the protests continued in the House, Speaker Kavinder Gupta said that the issue cannot be taken up as Kitchloo is not a member of the House after which the MLAs took their seats.
Kitchloo was dropped from Omar Abdullah ministry over the allegations in connection with the riots but was re-inducted after an interim report of the Commission in December 2013 exonerated him.
On August 9, 2013 communal clashes broke out after Eid prayers resulting in death of four people, injuries to over 80 people and burning down of a large number of houses and vehicles.
While BJP today demanded stringent punishment for those indicted for the riots, National Conference sought a full fledged probe so that the truth comes out and the guilty can be prosecuted.
"It is wrong to pre-judge things and blame one person," said former Speaker and NC MLA Mohammad Akbar Lone, adding the Commission is not the full authority to indict anybody.
Speaking to reporters outside the House, BJP MLA Ravinder Raina said Justice Gandhi Commission was set up by the Omar Abdullah government and the PDP-BJP government should swiftly act on its findings.
Minister of State for Roads and Buildings Sunil Sharma, who is also BJP MLA from Kishtwar, said that his party has always been saying that Kitchloo was involved along with other officials in the communal clashes.
He said the report is with the government and it is being examined. "I want to say that the person who has tried to create a communal divide in the state should be arrested," he said and also hit out at former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
Education Minister Naeem Akhter said, "Report is not a binding on us as it is a fact finding enquiry. If Justice Gandhi has made some recommendations, it will be deliberated upon by the state cabinet," he said.
"The report had come to us 15 days ago and we could not examine it because of Assembly session," he said.
Former Speaker and NC MLA Mohammad Akbar Lone said those involved in such crimes should be punished.
"There are some people who are involved in this case are elected.... We want a full fledged probe so that truth comes out," Lone said.
"Government should examine both the reports- the interim and the final one- and after that action should be taken," he said.