AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat Assembly’s Budget session began on a stormy note with the Opposition forcing State Governor O.P. Kohli to curtail his address amidst slogan shouting by Congress MLAs, who demanded a judicial probe into the Kutch sex racket, in which some local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members are allegedly involved. Oposition members arrived dressed in black to protest the alleged gang rape of a 23-year-old woman, who named local BJP leaders among other accused. ‘Beti bachao, balatkarion se beti bachao’ (‘save daughters, save daughters from rapists’) the Opposition shouted, all of whom rushed to the well holding placards as the governor began his customary address on the inaugural day of the Budget session. Subsequently, the governor curtailed his address, as he could not be heard in the din, and left the proceedings, placing his written speech on the table while the Speaker Ramanlal Vora adjourned the house. Adjourned againLater, the House reconvened to transact business but was adjourned again when protesting members followed the Leader of the Opposition and stormed the well of the House, demanding the government announce a judicial probe in the matter. “Our demand is simple. Let a judicial probe by a sitting High Curt judge be announced by the government on the Kutch sex racket because the victim has named BJP leaders in her FIR (First Information Report),” Leader of the Opposition Shankarsinh Vaghela told the media after Opposition members were suspended from the proceedings for a day. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and other leaders condoled the death of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa and other former members of the Gujarat Assembly who passed away recently. Meanwhile, outside the Assembly, the Congress held a rally in capital Gandhinagar on the issue of deteriorating the law and order situation in the state. The rally was addressed by State Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki, who accused the State administration of “protecting big names of the ruling party” in the gang rape and sex racket. In an FIR filed in Kutch earlier this month, a 23-year-old woman alleged that she was gang raped by at least nine men on different occasions about a year back. She alleged that the accused made a video of the act and raped her on several occasions by threatening to circulate the video clip. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed to probe the case arrested eight men who had allegedly gang raped the married woman. Those who were arrested included four local BJP leaders, who were suspended from the party after their names cropped up in the FIR. The woman alleged in her FIR that the accused used to run a sex racket in the Kutch district and blackmail their victims.
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