The Gujarat assembly budget session on Monday began with a ruckus by opposition members over a gang-rape, involving Kutch BJP leaders, forcing Governor O.P. Kohli to cut short his customary opening address.

Congress members shouted slogans, which led Speaker Ramanlal Vora to adjourn the house twice before ordering suspension of the opposition MLAs for a day.

A 24-year-old woman from Kutch had filed an FIR in Naliya town last month, alleging she had been raped repeatedly by nine persons, including four local BJP office-bearers, since last year.

She stated that the accused had captured a video and threatened to circulate the clip on social media.

The Congress members, who reached Gandhinagar after a 500 km march from Naliya, came to the state assembly wearing black clothes and demanded an independent probe into the case by a High Court judge.

The Gujarat government has set up a Special Investigation Team and asked the Crime Investigation Department to monitor the case but the Congress is insisting on a probe by a High Court judge.

“The BJP does not wish to allow an investigation by a High Court judge lest it could throw up bigger names, including in Gandhinagar and even Delhi, involved in the sex racket,” Congress spokesperson and legislator from Kutch Shaktisinh Gohil told the media.

Over 200 Congress members were detained after they took out a rally in Gandhinagar.

Around 50 Aam Aadmi Party workers too were detained from a different venue in Gandhinagar as they tried to begin a protest on the issue. Another 100 AAP workers were detained in Surat.

The ruling BJP stated that the opposition parties were trying to make political capital out of the issue though the government had initiated timely action.

“We are committed to the security of women. We have initiated swift action and will take investigations to logical conclusion,” Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja told reporters in Gandhinagar.

 

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