Published On: Wed, Feb 8th, 2017
Politics | ByIANS

Bengal Leader of Opposition evicted from House, hospitalised

Kolkata: There was pandemonium in the West Bengal assembly on Wednesday as an indisposed Leader of Opposition Abdul Mannan had to be hospitalised after he was forcibly removed by the security staff following his suspension.

The contentious Bill was, however, passed by the house later by voice vote

There were slogan-shouting and scuffles between the watch and ward staff and the Congress and Left Front lawmakers, who strongly opposed the West Bengal Maintenance of Public Order (Amendment) Bill, 2017, brought by the Mamata Banerjee government containing stringent measures against destruction of public property.

Speaker Biman Banerjee slapped a two-day suspension on Mannan for disobeying his order to remove placards and posters containing pictures of the vandalism in the assembly lobby on November 30, 2006, by the then opposition Trinamool Congress members.

Defying the Speaker, Mannan continued to display the placards and posters highlighting how in 2006 the Trinamool had damaged public property like furniture, files in the assembly lobby in the presence of Banerjee over her arrest during the height of the anti-Tata Nano agitation in Singur of Hooghly district.

Calling the bill a “black law”, Mannan went on protesting and as soon as the Speaker suspended him, the Congress legislator sat in the well of the house.

The Speaker called the marshal and other security personnel to remove Mannan from the house, leading to a scuffle between the suspended member and the marshals. The other Congress legislators also joined the scuffle.

During the disturbances, Mannan sustained injury and fell sick and was ambulanced to a central Kolkata hospital, where he was detected with high blood pressure and a complete heart blockage. A temporary pacemaker was implanted in his body to keep him stable.

“He has external injury on his left calf and left ankle. He has a past history of diabetes and high blood pressure, and has also undergone replacement surgeries for both knee joints,” said the attending doctor.

“When he was admitted, his blood pressure had shot up and he had a complete heart blockage. He is conscious. A temporary pacemaker is being fitted. And later, the cardiologist will take a decision on installing a long term pacemaker,” the doctor said.

Meanwhile, the Congress and Left Front legislators staged a noisy walkout from the house to protest the incident.

Congress legislator Pratima Rajak alleged before the media that she was molested by security personnel who “pulled her saree and even tried to kick her…”

The contentious Bill was, however, passed by the house later by voice vote before the empty opposition benches.

The legislation imposes payment of collective compensation on those involved in looting, burning and damaging public property.

Taking umbrage at the opposition protests against the bill, the Chief Minister said they had no faith in peaceful agitations and only tried to hog the limelight by destroying public property.

“But our government is not weak. We won’t let such things happen,” she said in the assembly.

The Speaker on his part ordered the Assembly staff to assess the damage caused to the Assembly property during the day.

However, the opposition went hammer and tongs at the government.

“This is a dark day for democracy in the history of West Bengal. The ruling party isn’t even ready to give an iota of respect to the opposition. The way a leader like Abdul Mannan was suspended and asked to leave the assembly is shameful.

“We strongly condemn today’s incident. We will met the Governor by today or tomorrow to protest against this,” leader of the Communist Party of India-Marxist led Left Front legislature party Sujan Chakraborty said.

Rajya Sabha member and former state Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya alleged the bill would allow the government to level baseless and mischievous charges against a person or a community and punish them.

“Tomorrow, they may hold an entire village responsible for an incident of violence. The bill interferes with the democratic rights of people,” Bhattacharya said.

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