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Melee breaks out in Indian Parliament as lawmaker tries to halt bill for creating new state

Indian policemen detain a supporter of the creation of a separate state of Telangana out of existing Andhra Pradesh state as he shouts slogans during a protest outside Vijay Chowk square in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. Congress party lawmaker L. Rajagopal from Andhra Pradesh sprayed pepper spray inside India's Parliament on Thursday from the main speaking zone, creating chaos that left his colleagues coughing and crying as they were ushered from the hall, in a protest over a long-contentious proposal to create a new southern state. (AP Photo)

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Indian policemen detain a supporter of the creation of a separate state of Telangana out of existing Andhra Pradesh state as he shouts slogans during a protest outside Vijay Chowk square in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. Congress party lawmaker L. Rajagopal from Andhra Pradesh sprayed pepper spray inside India's Parliament on Thursday from the main speaking zone, creating chaos that left his colleagues coughing and crying as they were ushered from the hall, in a protest over a long-contentious proposal to create a new southern state. (AP Photo)

NEW DELHI - Indian lawmakers have been evacuated from Parliament after a governing Congress party member used pepper spray to halt the introduction of a bill for carving out a new state in the south.

Lawmakers had been planning to vote on new legislation to create the state of Telangana from the mostly poor, inland districts of Andhra Pradesh state.

Lawmaker L. Rajagopal from Andhra Pradesh attempted to prevent Thursday's vote by unleashing pepper spray, which reduced other lawmakers to coughing and tearing as they were ushered out of the building.

Several lawmakers attempted to subdue Rajagopal, leading to a scuffle.

One lawmaker was rushed to a hospital, but no information was immediately available about his condition.

Speaker Meira Kumar adjourned the session until Thursday afternoon, calling the turmoil "a blot."

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