New Delhi, Aug 26, 2017: Haryana on Friday once again witnessed gigantic violence, this time by the followers of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh after a special CBI court convicted him in the 15-year-old rape case.
In a complete breakdown of law and order and failure of security arrangements made by the Chief Minister Manohar lal Khattar government in and around Panchukla, lakhs of dera followers of the self-styled godman went on rampage, setting fire to railway stations, buses, media vans and electricity grids.
This was not the first time Khattar government faced the massive violence but it was third in their list. Before these bloodsheds, there were two more incidents happened that almost shattered the lives in Haryana.
All these three incidents have taken place ever since Manohar Lal Khattar was chosen for the post of Chief Minister’s post just for making his debut in politics.
At least 10 people had died in the Sant Rampal case in November 2014 while 30 had lost their lives during the violence in February 2016 Jat agitation and third, the latest one at least 30 people have so far lost their lives in the clashes.
Jat agitation in 2016
The Jat agitation began in form of non-violent protests but later turned into a massive violence between public-police. During February 2016, the Jats blocked the railway lines and roads and “paralysed the State for 10 days.”
When the Jats took to the streets to press their longstanding demand for reservation in jobs and education, the Khattar government failed to find the straws in the wind. Both administrative and political, first took time to react to a fast-developing situation and then responded in the wrong manner.
Before the authorities could clamp the situation, the agitation that started from Rohtak and some adjoining areas with small groups of Jats squatting on roads and railway tracks had escalated and spread to the entire Jat heartland. The BJP leadership did not show the requisite political will and gave confusing signals, and no effective back-channel negotiations were initiated.
Sant Rampal in 2014
Don’t forget to remember Sant Rampal who created his own to shield himself in the wake to escape from a police arrest. In 2014, the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued non-bailable arrest warrants against him. In protest, his followers blocked rail and road traffic in Ambala, Panchkula and Chandigarh on November 5.
When the police tried to detain him on November 9, his armed followers, including gunmen, formed human chains outside the Satlok Ashram to prevent the police from arresting him. The police tried to initiate a dialogue, and asked him to surrender. Rampal’s followers announced that the police will have to kill more than 100,000 followers before arresting him.
Police had to launch an operation to nab Rampal and at least six persons including an infant died in the standoff between his supporters and police.
Rampal was arrested on the night of November 19, 2014, along with 492 of his followers, on charges including sedition, murder, attempt to murder, conspiracy, hoarding illegal weapons and aiding and abetting suicide-mongers.