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Uproar in Karnataka Assembly over rising rape cases

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The Legislative Assembly on Friday witnessed acrimonious scenes and bouts of slogan-shouting by members of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Janata Dal (Secular) over alleged increase in the number of sexual assault cases in the State and the government’s “failure” to ensure safety of women.

Members of the BJP and JD(S), who sought to move an adjournment motion to discuss the issue related to crimes against women, began shouting slogans and demanded the resignation of Home Minister K.J. George when their plea was turned down. BJP members, who wore black scarves, urged the Speaker to take up the issue immediately, citing the rise in sexual assault cases across the State in the last one week. Even as the Speaker told members that they would be allowed to raise the issue after the government’s reply on the Education Department’s demands, Opposition members trooped into the well. Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa’s urging to maintain order went in vain, and he adjourned the House for 30 minutes.

After a meeting at his chamber, the Speaker allowed the Opposition to make a preliminary submission on the issue. Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri (BJP) said the law and order had collapsed in the State and demanded Mr. George’s resignation. He said 10 cases of rape have been reported during the last one week in Bangalore, Kolar, Raibag, Sindagi, Malur and Gulbarga. S. Suresh Kumar (BJP) said a six-year-old student in a private school in Bangalore was sexually assaulted. A sexual harassment incident had occurred at a nunnery in the city.

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