Tiger cub triggers uproar

Wednesday August 9 2006 11:39 IST

BHUBANESWAR, India: Allegations that a Congress MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) had kept a tiger cub as a pet violating the Wildlife Protection Act sparked off a furore in the Assembly on Tuesday, forcing Speaker Maheswar Mohanty to adjourn the House twice till lunch.

Noisy scenes continued in the House even after the lunch recess with the Congress members perching in the well. The House returned to normalcy after the Speaker expunged the remarks against the Congress member.

Earlier, Debasis Patnaik (Cong), giving personal explanation, dared those who raised the issue to prove the charges levelled against him or resign. ‘I am prepared to accept any punishment if the charges are proved,’ Debasis said, daring the members.

It all started during zero hour when some Independents, while expressing concern over the death of animals and birds in Nandankanan Zoo, alleged that an Opposition member had a tiger cub as pet. Prabhant Ranjan Biswal, Saroj Padhi and Rudra Madhav Ray (all Independents supporting BJD) alleged that a young Opposition member had kept the tiger cub as pet but later released it in the Mundali forest and informed the Forest Department to avoid action under the Wildlife Protection Act.

When Anjali Behera (BJD) demanded action, there was commotion and the Opposition trooped into the well. Demanding that the member should be allowed to give an explanation, the Opposition members disrupted the proceedings forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House for 10 minutes.

However, pandemonium prevailed even after the House reassembled with the Congress members demanding that the remarks against the MLA be expunged. Normalcy returned 30 minutes after the House reassembled with the Speaker announcing that remarks against Debasis would be expunged.

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