AGARTALA, Sept 26 - Tripura Assembly on Monday witnessed uproarious scenes after Congress MLA Ratan Lal Nath launched a scathing attack over the issue of socio-economic development of the sex workers.
In course of heated debate on it, four Treasury bench members � Bijoy Laxmi Singh, Gouri Das, Tunu Bala Malakar and Rita Kar Majumder walked out of the House as they were against to have a discussion on such a subject.
Replying to a notice, Social Welfare and Social Education Minister Bijita Nath informed the House that the State has no registered sex workers.
�Since there is no registered sex worker here, the department could not provide any financial allowance to such people. Notwithstanding, no survey was conducted to identify sex workers�, she told the House.
However, Congress MLA was not happy with the reply of the Minister as it was far from the truth. Nath said the State has 5,145 registered sex workers as it was mentioned in Tripura State AIDS Control Society�s website.
Terming the issue as very vulnerable, he said the number of HIV positive case is on the rise in the State. Citing example, Nath said the number HIV positive case has been increased to 293 during 2015-16 FY from 225 in 2013-14 while altogether 112 HIV positive cases have been reported during three months of the current financial year. Coming down heavily on the government�s apathy towards sex workers, he said eight NGOs working under the guidance of Tripura State AIDS Control Society have been receiving huge fund to render help to the sex workers.
�An amount of Rs 56 lakh has been released for eight NGOs working in the field of AIDS control as first quarters of the current financial year�, he said seeking reply from Health Minister Badal Chowedhury on the rehabilitation of sex workers.
As the debate was scaling up, four CPM women MLAs left the House as they were deadly against to discuss the issue.
In reply, Chowdhury said all the NGOs were selected by the NACO and they are working under the guidance of the NACO. Saying that the State has no red alert zone and no notification has been issued in this regard, Chowdhury said the government has been dealing such cases under Immoral Traffic Act. Later speaking to the media Nath said, �The situation is alarm as the tiny State has 1,154 AIDS patients. I want the government to take realistic view on the issue and take all possible measure to uplift the socio-economic condition of sex workers in the State�.