Press Trust of india

Opposition MPs walk out of Parliamentary panel meet after demand to discuss Manipur denied

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New Delhi: Opposition members walked out of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs meeting on Thursday after their demand to discuss the situation in Manipur was denied by the panel chief, sources said.

At the meeting to discuss prison reforms in Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, TMC’s Derek O’Brien, and Congress’ Digvijaya Singh and Pradip Bhattacharya submitted a joint letter to panel chairman Brijlal, saying as committee members they cannot ignore the situation in Manipur, sources said.

In the letter, they said as members of the Committee, it is their moral and constitutional responsibility to discuss this matter with utmost urgency and the required sincerity.

“Having been a senior police officer yourself, you understand the gravity of the situation in the state. Manipur needs healing and an end to the violence. We as elected representatives cannot look away,” they said in the letter.

Brijlal was the director general of police (DGP) of Uttar Pradesh for some time in late 2000.

The opposition MPs further said that some of them had written to him last month also requesting an urgent meeting of the Committee to discuss Manipur, a demand which has not been accepted.

“You also informed us that this issue will not be taken up for discussion any time in July. Sir, it is your prerogative to fix the agenda of the meeting. We stand against such an evasion of responsibility to discuss an issue of national importance, and are therefore choosing to walk out of the meeting,” the letter said.

According to sources, the three are unlikely to attend the two other meetings of the committee that are scheduled this month.

Before leaving, the members also urged BJP MP Biplab Deb to walk out with them since he was from the Northeast, sources said.

O’Brien and Singh had written to Brijlal urging him to hold a meeting to discuss the situation in Manipur.

The chairperson had informed both MPs separately about the inability to hold meetings urgently on the Manipur situation, as three meetings on prison reforms have been scheduled for July.

A total of seven members, including the chairman, attended the meeting of the 30-member panel.

Over 100 people have died and many hundreds injured in the ethnic violence in Manipur since May 3.

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