NEW DELHI, July 24 - The Lok Sabha witnessed uproar during the zero hour today prompting Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to suspend six Congress MPs, including Gaurav Gogoi and Sushmita Dev, for unruly behaviour during opposition protests in the House over growing cow vigilantism.
Trouble started when the opposition members surged into the well and demanded the Prime Minister�s presence to discuss the incidents of lynching in the name of cow protection. Congress members tore and flung papers on the Chair and raised slogans against the government.
The House was adjourned thereafter and when it resumed at 2 pm, Mahajan announced that Congress lawmakers Gaurav Gogoi, K Suresh, Adhiranjan Chowdhary, Ranjeet Ranjan, Sushmita Dev and MK Raghavan had been suspended for five days.
The Speaker urged the suspended MPs to withdraw from House as she has taken action under Rule 374A of the House. However, the opposition members continued to agitate forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House for the day.
Earlier, chaos began minutes after the House met in the morning for question hour, as opposition members demanded a discussion on a string of lynching incidents by cow vigilantes. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge moved an adjournment motion to discuss the attacks. But Mahajan declined to suspend the question hour.
At this, Congress and Trinamool Congress lawmakers rushed to the well and shouted slogans against the government. The Speaker warned the MPs to maintain decorum, but the protests grew as Samajwadi Party (SP) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) members joined the protest.
�Minorities, Dalits and women are being targeted in the name of cow slaughter. The government has failed to control these barbaric events,� Kharge said. He said the matter needs to be discussed in the House urgently and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh should be present.
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar first tried to pacify the opposition leaders, saying the government �could discuss the issue in the coming days� if the business advisory committee decides. But the protesters didn�t relent, prompting Kumar to ask the Speaker to take strong action.
Gaurav Gogoi later told this newspaper that they were demanding a discussion on lynching when the Speaker suspended six of the Congress MPs. �On principle we will raise the demand tomorrow as well. This is a serious issue and we will continue to raise the matter,� he said.
Later in a statement, Gogoi said, �I along with few of my colleagues were suspended from the Lok Sabha for raising our voice against lynching and demanding an answer from the Government. Is it wrong to raise our voice against lynching and hate mobs, for demanding justice for victims and punishment for the guilty?� The BJP is on the side of the vigilantes, he added.
Sushmita Dev said that they have taken a serious view of the BJP MP Anurag Thakur taking video of the proceedings using his cell phone. The Congress Parliamentary Party later formally wrote to the Speaker demanding action against Thakur as his act �according to the rule is forbidden.�