Punjab government drops special police powers bill amidst ruckus in assembly

Chandigarh: Two controversial bills were withdrawn by the Badal government on Saturday amidst ruckus in the assembly as opposition congress members resorted to slogan shouting after the speaker did not allow them to raise issue in the zero hour.

One of the bills withdrawn pertained to the damage of public and private property during protests and agitations.

The bill had proposed imprisonment and penalty against those damaging public or private property during protests.

The second bill withdrawn was regarding special powers given to police officials under the Special Security Group bill.

The bill had proposed that police officials will have the power to take action in interest of national security and that, for certain actions, they would not be liable to courts of law.

Opposition parties and several organizations were protesting in recent months against both the bills, saying that these were against democratic norms and not in public interest.

The ongoing session of the Punjab assembly ended in pandemonium inside the house as opposition Congress legislators disrupted proceedings and shouted slogans as the speaker did not allow them to raise issues in the zero hour.

While the Congress members demanded that speaker allow zero hour first as they wanted to raise important issues concerning the state, Speaker Nirmaljit Singh Kahlon allowed Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to make a statement on hike in fertilizer prices by the central government.

Congress legislators then rushed towards the speaker’s podium and disrupted proceedings.

Two legislators even climbed the table of the deputy speaker and made their speeches.


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