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Ruckus in Assembly over hunger-strike

SRINAGAR, SEPT. 29. Uproarious scenes marred the proceedings in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly today forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House for 15 minutes.

As soon as the House assembled for the day, the entire Opposition stormed into the well of the Assembly shouting slogans against the government. The Chief Minister, Mr. Farooq Abdullah, was not present in the House.

They alleged that one of the five Class IV employees of the Education department, who were on a hunger strike for the past few days in Jammu, had died this morning.

Despite repeated pleas by the Speaker, Mr. Abdul Ahad Vakil, to resume their seats, the Opposition members continued their protest in the well. They alleged that the termination of 430 Class IV employees of the Education department in Jammu had forced them to sit in hunger-strike.

The Speaker later adjourned the House for 15 minutes after members refused to resume their seats. Soon after the House reassembled, the Speaker informed that he had a meeting with all Opposition members in his chamber and they had assured him that they would not stall the proceedings if the Government made a statement on the issue. The Chief Minister, who came to the House, was informed by the Speaker about the adjournment and the matter raised by the Opposition members. The Speaker sought the cooperation of all members and said the State was passing through a very difficult period. ''We all should work unitedly to resolve all issues peacefully.''

Dr. Abdullah told the House that against 200 vacancies in the Education department, an officer appointed 400 employees. He said the Director of Education refused to sign these orders and the officer, who was not competent to appoint anybody, had issued them without any approval from the Government with the result their services had to be terminated.

The Opposition members were again on their feet when the Chief Minister said that all these appointments were illegal. However, normalcy returned to the House when Dr. Abdullah informed that all these persons would be re-appointed within a month. He also sought cooperation from the Opposition members. The Chief Minister informed the House that all the five persons who were on hunger-strike were shifted to the hospital last night and their condition was stated to be stable. He said the reports about the death of one person was totally false.

- UNI

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