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Protect Indians in Malaysia, Tamil Nadu MPs tell govt
November 29, 2007 14:26 IST
The issue of alleged discrimination and mistreatment of ethnic Indians in Malaysia on Thursday disrupted proceedings in the Lok Sabha with members from Tamil Nadu, cutting across party lines, asking the government to take up the matter with Kuala Lumpur.
BJP members also joined the protest after S K Kharaventhan (Congress) raised the issue and were supported by all members from Tamil Nadu. BJP's Yogi Adityanath was heard remarking about the demolition of temples in Malaysia.
When Kharaventhan urged the government to take steps to "protect" the ethnic Indians in Malaysia, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee asked members not to say anything that would affect relations with the friendly country.
Chatterjee ordered expunction of remarks by some members regarding police action against a demonstration of Malaysian Tamils, observing, "we are a very responsible
democracy. We don't discuss any other country in such a manner."
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee was present in the House but Chatterjee dismissed demands from members that he should direct the Minister to respond.
At one point, the Speaker said Mukherjee is a "very responsible person" and his presence in the House was enough. As the uproar continued, the Speaker directed that the live telecast of the proceedings be switched off.
Chatterjee adjourned the House for 30 minutes as the din continued.