New Delhi, Dec 2: Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Monday took a swipe at Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman by calling her "Nirbala", which immediately drew protest from BJP members in the House.

Participating in the discussion on the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, Chowdhury suggested that the finance minister has become weak and called her 'Nirbala Sitharaman'.

As the BJP members protested against his comment, Speaker Om Birla ruled that any unparliamentary remark would be removed from the records.

During her reply, Sitharaman did not directly refer to Chowdhury's comment but concluded her speech by saying she still is Nirmala and "sabla" (empowered).

"Under this government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, women are sablas," she said.

Chowdhury had also attacked the government during the debate, saying the ruling National Democratic Alliance can also be called the "Non-Delivery Agency" as it only makes promises.

Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur demanded that Chowdhury apologise and withdraw his remark against Sitharaman.

"You are raising question marks on her capability... She is here due to her merit," he said, adding that such remarks are disrespectful to women.

Chowdhury refused to withdraw his remark but said, "You can remove it from proceedings, if you wish."

He sought to defend himself saying he had said the finance minister did not have the freedom to work freely, therefore, "I wonder whether you are Nirmala or Nirbala."

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal said instead of apologising, Chowdhury was defending his remark which was not right.

Seeking to calm the agitated members, Speaker Birla said unparliamentary comments from opposition as well as the treasury benches would be removed from the records.

Let the Truth be known. If you read VB and like VB, please be a VB Supporter and Help us deliver the Truth to one and all.



New Delhi, Dec 16: Unrest over the police crackdown in Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia and the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act rippled in angry waves through the country on Monday with demonstrations in several campuses, including in Hyderabad, Lucknow and Mumbai.

The morning after violence broke out in the national capital, thousands of students across India took to the streets demanding a probe into the use of teargas inside the Jamia library as well as police entering the campus without permission from university authorities.

There was heavy police presence in university campuses.

Several Delhi University students boycotted exams and held a protest outside the Arts Faculty in North Campus to express their solidarity with the movement. They said they will gather at India Gate on Monday evening.

At ground zero of the student movement, a group of Jamia students stood shirtless in the bone-chilling cold of a Delhi morning to protest the action against their colleagues on Sunday.

Several students were seen leaving for home but the anger simmered. Slogans of "inquilab zindabad" were heard about 10 students, accompanied by their fellow colleagues, took out a small march, demanding a CBI inquiry into the "police brutality".

As a few women escorted an injured student to narrate their ordeal to the media, some people were seen asking them not to give any statements.

"We were inside the university when the police barged in. Around 20 policemen came from gate no 7 and 50 others came from the rear gate. We told them we were not involved in the violence. They didn't listen. They didn't even spare women," Khanzala, who suffered injuries to his legs and abdomen, said.

A woman broke down as Khanzala showed his injuries to the media.

Fifty detained Jamia students were released early Monday but tension continued in the campus.

In Lucknow's Nadwa College, students gathered in the hundreds shouting slogans like "Awaz do, hum ek hain" (call us we are all united) as police tried to control the situation.

"Some students of the Nadwatul Ulama here tried to protest and hurled stones from inside. They were prevented and no one is allowed to come outside the campus," said Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police O P Singh.

In Hyderabad's Maulana Azad Urdu University, students held a protest march post midnight in solidarity with the Jamia students and demanded that their exams be postponed.

There were angry demonstrations at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi and at Jadavpur University in Kolkata with demands that the government take action against police "hooliganism".

"Crackdown is a very small word to be used for what happened in Jamia yesterday. This is clear hooliganism. Videos of policemen smashing bikes and beating students are all over social media. The government must fix accountability for this," said a PHD student at BHU.

Ridhima Dua, a Jadavpur University student, asked how teargas could be used inside a closed compound.

"if I am molested on a street and go to police to file a complaint I will be told about norms. Where are the norms now? How can teargas be used inside a closed compound? How can policemen just barge into the university without any permission from vice chancellor? There has to be a probe in this," she said.

Students from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai also protested on the streets shouting slogans such as "Shame on Delhi Police".

In Chennai, students of the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras called for a protest.

The first to join the movement against the violence in Jamia were students from the Aligarh University University (AMU) where there were clashes with the police late at night on Sunday in which at least 60 students were injured.

After the protest, the administration announced closure of the university till January 5 and students have been asked to evacuate the hostels.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said the state government was committed to provide security to every citizen of the state. "For this, it is necessary that everyone follows the law. Nobody will be allowed to disturb the atmosphere of peace in the state," he said.

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students joined their compatriots in Jamia outside the police headquarters at Delhi's ITO on Sunday night to protest the alleged police assault on students at the Jamia campus earlier in the day.

The university turned into a battlefield on Sunday as police entered the campus and also used force, following protest against the Act.