Congress MLA Cuts Palm To Protest in Assam Legislative Assembly

Congress MLA Cuts Palm To Protest in Assam Legislative Assembly


GUWAHATI: Congress MLA from Mariani Rupjyoti Kurmi, on Tuesday created a great deal of sensation, curiosity and concern in the Assam Assembly after he slit his palm and wrote slogans with his blood against the State Government’s alleged move to sell some of its industrial units. Kurmi, who often catches headlines for his unusual styles of protest, came out of the Assembly hall, took a blade, cut his palm and wrote his protests in blood in front of journalists at the main entry and exit point of the Assembly Hall. The incident took place on the fourth day of the ongoing winter session of Assembly.

The MLA, in the placard he had brought to the Assembly, wrote slogans against Dispur’s alleged move to sell off Nagaon and Cachar Paper Mills, and the Namrup Fertilizer Ltd, besides the Hatikhira and Ailabari Tea Estates. After cutting his palm, Kurmi wrote in his placard: All these assets on Assam’ soil are linked to the State’s honour, people’s means of livelihood and the State’s future .... They cannot be allowed to be sold!”

Even though Kurmi took around 10 minutes to stage his protest, no security personnel were prevented the MLA from cutting his own palm. He was taken to the medical unit inside the Assembly premises by journalists. He had three stitches in his left palm and doctors later declared him physically fit.

Leader of the Opposition, Debabrata Saikia of Congress said he does not support the manner in which Kurmi protested. “As the Congress Legislature Party leader of Assam, I am responsible for the (action of) 24 party MLAs within the House and not outside it,” Saikia said, adding that the protest was a personal decision of Kurmi.

The incident later created a hue and cry in the House. Raising the issue in the House, BJP MLA Padma Hazarika said, “If an MLA could sneak in a blade into the Assembly undetected then where is the security of the other legislators?”

Another BJP MLA, Numal Momin, said that Kurmi’s action is tantamount to attempt to commit suicide, adding that suicide is a crime as per laws.

Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami, while expressing serious concern over the incident, said the Assembly cannot be allowed to be converted into a stage for enacting drama. He ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident. The leader of the House, the Leader of the Opposition and members of all political parties will be part of the probe.

Later, the Speaker held a meeting with Debabrata Saikia, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary and MLAs of other political parties to prevent any such incidents in the future.

However, Kurmi justified his action before reporters stating that thousands of employees in Assam suffering due to non-payment of their salaries for the last three months. Kurmi has, however, sent a letter of apology to the Speaker late Tuesday evening.

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