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Free-For-All In State Assembly, Eight Injured

March 25, 1989

NEW DELHI, India (AP) _ Lawmakers hurled microphones, files and wooden desks at each other today in a free-for-all in a southern state legislature, a news agency said. At least eight members were reported injured.

Members of the governing and opposition parties fought for more than 15 minutes in the state assembly in Madras, Press Trust of India reported.

The news agency said the fight started when Chief Minister Muthuvel Karunanidhi, the highest official in Tamil Nadu state, rose to present the budget and an opposition member tried to snatch papers in his hand. The chief minister’s supporters ran to his aid, PTI said.

Other lawmakers picked up their desks and threw them at one another and shouted ″unprintable words,″ PTI said.

Karunanidhi sustained bruises on his arms and broke his glasses during the melee, which occurred on the first day of the new session.

PTI said seven other members, including Jayalalitha Jayaram, leader of the opposition All India Anna Dravid Munnetra Kazagham Party, were hospitalized.

Members of the opposition party and the governing Dravida Munnetra Kazagham Party threw microphones, budget files and sand-filled paper weights, hitting fans, lights and a chandelier in the assembly hall, PTI said. The chairman adjourned the session after security men failed to restore order, it said.

Later, 28 members of the opposition party, including Ms. Jayaram, were suspended from the house until Friday, PTI said.

Ms. Jayaram claimed that governing party legislators ″tried to crack my skull and kill me on the spot,″ according to PTI.

Karunanidhi, who claimed he was slapped on the face by an opposition lawmaker, said his supporters simply acted to defend him, PTI said.

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