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Anti-terror sentiment echoes in Parliament

December 10, 2008 13:09 IST
Last Updated: December 10, 2008 13:42 IST

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Dubbing the Mumbai terror strikes as 'most horrendous', Parliament on Wednesday sought strict action and all out efforts to prevent recurrence of such attacks.

Speaker Somnath Chatterjee [Images] in the Lok Sabha and Chairman Hamid Ansari in the Rajya Sabha condemned the Mumbai strikes as also several other terror attacks in Assam as both Houses met for the first day of the third part of Monsoon Session.

"The scourge of terrorism must be countered at all levels by the people and the government," Ansari said in the Rajya Sabha.

Chatterjee recalled that the financial hub of the country was paralysed due to 'most horrendous' terrorist attacks at several crowded places and prominent hotels of the city.

"The House calls for strict action and all out efforts to prevent recurrence of such cowardly and inhuman attacks," the Speaker said.

Both the Houses also mourned the death of former Prime Minister V P Singh [Images] whom Chatterjee hailed as a 'true friend of the poor and deprived' and 'a statesman who stood for secularism and a casteless society'.

The Rajya Sabha said in the passing away of V P Singh, the country has lost a 'patriot, a great statesman, a veteran Parliamentarian and an able administrator.'

The Lower House also mourned the death of Munawwar Hassan, a sitting member from Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh [Images], Tayab Hussain, a member of the fifth and seventh Lok Sabha and former Union minister Ajit Kumar Panja.

Both Houses adjourned as a mark of respect to the departed leaders as also the victims of terror attacks after observing a minute's silence.

"These dastardly attacks have deeply shocked the nation and are aimed at destabilising the country," the Rajya Sabha Chairman said, adding that such incidents unite all citizens.

Both Houses recalled that 183 people, including 26 foreign nationals, lost their lives in the Mumbai attacks and 18 brave security personnel of the Mumbai police, including the head of the Anti Terror Squad and two NSG commandos became martyrs while fighting terrorists.

The House also condemned the serial bomb blasts in Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar and Guwahati in Assam on October 30 in which 89 people were killed and 477 injured.

Another bomb blast took place in a passenger train at Diphu railway station in Assam's Karbi Anglong district on December two in which two persons were killed and 30 injured.

The members of the Parliamentary Committee on Subordinate Legislation were in the Taj Mahal Hotel [Images] in Mumbai when the attack took place on November 26.

Chatterjee said he had also conveyed the appreciation of the House to the security forces, the state government and employees of the Taj Hotel [Images] for evacuating members of Parliament and officers of the Lok Sabha Secretariat in the most difficult circumstances.

Chidambaram to make statement in LS
In the wake of the Mumbai terror strikes, Home Minister P Chidambaram will make a statement on terrorism in Lok Sabha on Thursday.

This was decided at a meeting of leaders of political parties convened by Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on Wednesday. The meeting decided that soon after the statement by the Home Minister, the House would take up a discussion.

However, there will be no voting at the end of the debate.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said the government was in favour of structured debate on the issue of terrorism.

"There may be some criticism from some quarters, but ultimately it will help the government," he said.

The Mumbai terror attacks [Images] have evoked strong condemnation from all political parties with the UPA favouring creation of a Federal Investigative Agency and the main opposition BJP demanding a tough POTA-like law to deal with terrorism.

The all-party meeting convened by Chatterjee to ensure smooth running of the House was attended among others by Lok Janshakti Party leader and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, BJP leader V K Malhotra and Akali Dal's S S Dhindsa.

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