Following the PIL of Panchkula resident on security arrangements in the city in the wake of Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim judgment in rape case in the CBI court in Panchkula, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has been closely monitoring the situation. The High Court came down heavily on Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar for “protecting the Dera followers and extending political patronage”.
This is fourth major incident of mob fury in Haryana since CM Khattar has assumed office in 2014.
2016: Jat reservation agitation
2015: Faridabad communal riots
2014: vilolence following arrest of religious leader Rampal
Earlier, the High Court had slammed Haryana administration for not applying right sections of 144 which only aggravated the situation and over 1.5 lakh Dera Sirsa followers thronged the city making the situation tense.
What the Punjab and Haryana High Court said?
♦ To Chief Minister, ML Khattar:
Now, with many security lapses seen on the day of judgment following the conviction of Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim, which led to the death of over 30 people and 250 injured, the Punjab and Haryana High Court came down heavily on Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar for “protecting the Dera followers and extending political patronage”.
♦ To Haryana Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma:
The court also slammed Haryana Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma for giving a grant of Rs 51 lakh to the dera recently.
♦ Damages to be paid from Dera Properties
The Bench comprising Justices SS Saron, Surya Kant and Avneesh Jhingan had yesterday ordered that the damages due to violent protests by Dera followers would be paid from Dera’s property. It directed the Deputy Commissioners of Punjab and Haryana to provide it a list of Dera properties. They have been asked to invite through public notices claims for damages to the property in the violence. The Dera has been told not to alienate, sell or transfer its properties.
♦ “State floating misleading information”
The Bench came down heavily on the state for “misleading” it by furnishing wrong information on the number of vehicles in the convoy and asked for the name of the officer who provided the information to the AG.
The Bench said there was a sea of difference between the administrative and political decisions and the administrative decisions were paralysed because of political considerations.
♦ About Dera Sacha Sauda
The state was also asked to inform the Bench about any plans to sanitise the Dera Sacha Sauda.
♦ Instigating brouchure by Dera leaders
The state was told to verify a report carried in a vernacular regarding instigation by the Dera leaders. The Bench directed the registration of an FIR against the instigators if the reporter stood by his report.
Punjab and Haryana Advocate Generals’ Status Report to Punjab & Haryana High Court:
Haryana Advocate General, Baldev Raj Mahajan, Report to Punjab & Haryana High Court:
Total Casualities in Haryana: 32
Casualities in Panchkula: 28
♦ One of the 28 dead had been identified while the remaining were still unidentified
♦ As many as 524 persons were arrested in Panchkula, 24 vehicles seized, five pistols with 79 rounds and two rifles with 52 rounds were recovered
♦ Iron rods, ‘dandas’ (staffs), hockey sticks and ten petrol bombs were also recovered
♦ Eight FIRs have been registered in Panchkul
Punjab Advocate General, Atul Nanda, Report to Punjab & Haryana High Court:
♦ There have been 51 incidents in Punjab
♦ 39 FIRs were registered.
♦ 19 miscreants have been arrested, including Gurdev Singh, a state-level office-bearer of Dera Sacha Sauda.
♦ No casualty although there has been damage to public and private property for which assessment would be carried out.
Source: The Tribune