Opposition members walk out from Parliament panel meet after demand to discuss Manipur denied

NEW DELHI, Jul 6 : “Opposition members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs walked out of a meeting on July 6 after their demand to discuss the situation in Manipur was denied by the panel chief,” sources said.
“At a meeting to discuss prison reforms in Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, TMC’s Derek O’Brien and Congress’ Digvijaya Singh and Pradip Bhattacharya submitted a joint letter to panel chairman Brijlal, saying as Committee members they cannot ignore the situation in Manipur,” the sources said.
The letter signed by all three MPs said that as members of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, it is their moral and Constitutional responsibility to discuss this matter with utmost urgency and the requited sincerity.
"Having been a senior police officer yourself, you understand the gravity of the situation in the State. Manipur needs healing and an end to the violence. We as elected representatives cannot look away," they said.
They further said that some of them had written to the Chairman last month requesting an urgent meeting of the Committee to discuss Manipur, a demand which was not accepted.
"You also informed us that this issue will not be taken up for discussion any time in July. Sir, it is your prerogative to fix the agenda of the meeting. We stand against such an evasion of responsibility to discuss an issue of National importance, and are therefore choosing to walk out of the meeting," they said.
The sources said the three are unlikely to attend the two other meetings that are scheduled this month. They also said that before leaving the members also urged BJP MP Biplab Deb to walk out with them since he was from the North East.
Earlier too, Mr. O'Brien and Mr. Singh had written to Brijlal urging him to hold a meeting to discuss the situation in Manipur.
The chairperson had informed both MPs separately about the inability to hold meetings urgently on the Manipur situation, as three meetings on prison reforms have been scheduled for July. A total of seven members, including the chairman, attended the meeting.
Nearly 120 people have died and more than 3,000 injured in the ethnic violence in Manipur since May 3. PTI