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Indian Parliament Disrupted by Pepper Spray

  • VOA News

An unidentified member of India's parliament covers his face with a handkerchief after being affected by pepper spray gas in New Delhi, India, Feb. 13, 2014.
India's parliament broke down in chaos Thursday after a lawmaker released pepper spray before a controversial vote.

Lawmakers were to vote on whether to make the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh into a separate state.

Andhra Pradesh state is the Indian home of technology companies such as Google and Microsoft, which are based in the city of Hyderabad.

Lawmaker L. Rajagopal is accused of deploying the pepper spray before the vote was to take place. News reports say the session then broke down as a scuffle broke out. Several lawmakers were taken to the hospital for treatment for exposure to the spray.

Rajagopal, a wealthy lawmaker from Andhra Pradesh, later told reporters he used the pepper spray in self-defense.