Pepper Spray Incident in Parliament Sparks Outrage: Members Fling Computer; Doctors Rushed to Scene
By Gopi Chandra Kharel | February 13, 2014 7:30 PM EST
The Parliament witnessed unprecedented chaos over the Telangana bill on Thursday, with a member using pepper spray and another flinging a computer, as the controversial bill met with an ever increasing divided opinions.
People stand in front of the Indian parliament building in this representational picture (Reuters)
Two MPs in the Lok Sabha - one for and the other against Telangana - rushed towards the Speaker's chair and started arguing and fighting, NDTV reported. The event escalated quickly as Congress MP L Rajgopal used a pepper spray that caused some discomfort to the members in the house. It is understood that the impact of the spray was so strong that a doctor was rushed to the scene, and the members had to be evacuated immediately.
News outlets note that the MPs are never frisked when they enter the Parliament but Thursday's events have spurred calls for a change in the rules.
"I am told that knives, pepper powder and other weapons were brought into the house," Parliamentary Affairs minister Kamal Nath was quoted as saying.
There are also reports that T Venugopal, an MP from the Telugu Desam Party, pulled out a knife, though he has now denied doing so. DNA newspsper insists that he brandished the knife.
Mr Rajgopal reportedly also smashed a glass, while other protesting MPs flung a computer and pulled off a mic, reports suggest. The MPs protesting were mostly from Seemandhra, the non-Telangana region and are vehemently opposed to the division of Andra Pradesh.
The DNA reported that Seemandhra troop attempted to break Chaiman's microphone. Four MPs have been taken away in an ambulance for immediate medical attention following the peppery spray attack. Among the injured was Rajagopal himself, the news outlet said.
"What happened is disgraceful, unprecedented, unforgivable," senior BJP parliamentarian Jaswant Singh was quoted by NDTV as saying.
Heavy security were arranged since morning while fire extinguishers and blankets were also kept ready in parliament after Seemandhra MP Sabbam Hari had allegedly threatened to set himself ablaze if the bill was passed.
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