oppn parties Dera Violence: Khattar Should Resign

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Former principal secretary to PM Modi, Nripendra Mishra, appointed to head the temple committee of the Ram Janambhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust
oppn parties
Dera Violence: Khattar Should Resign

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2017-08-26 22:14:47

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
“You surrendered to the situation” said the Punjab and Haryana High Court, admonishing the Additional Solicitor General of India, Satyapal Jain, who was representing the centre in the Ram Rahim case violence hearing. The court further said "you are trying to crucify a small DCP of Panchkula what about those political masters who have been giving wrong directions?" and even asked whether PM Modi was prime minister of India or of BJP?

These are strong words but the court was constrained to use them as the BJP-ruled government in Haryana abdicated its duty in protecting the life and property of the citizens by treating the Dera supporters with kid gloves. The government’s attitude was cavalier, almost as if it wished the Dera supporters to create a huge and violent protest so that the world could know what happens when a so-called “religious guru” is convicted.

There were enough alerts from various agencies. The Haryana government chose to sit on them. Despite Panchkula and Sirsa being made fortresses with heavy deployment of security forces, if people went on rampage destroying property and killing people, it proves the court’s contention that the political masters were playing a deadly game. They did not want to antagonize a sizeable vote bank. This is politics of the dirtiest kind and sends wrong signals.

Is a self-styled “religious guru” above the law? Here the charge was serious – that of rape of an in-house sadhvi at his ashram – but no one, not even a “religious guru” with millions of followers can be let off for even, say, shoplifting. Crime should beget punishment and if the CBI trial court has found him guilty after examining the evidence, the centre and the state governments must have sent the signal that there would be zero tolerance for disruptions. Police regularly picks up known criminals before major events. In this case, they could have picked up known troublemakers from the Dera camp. One is sure the police keep tabs on them. That they did not do anything like that means there were orders from the “top” to treat them with kid gloves.

The situation was allowed to go out of hand. There are hundreds of so-called “godmen” in India charged with various crimes. One by one, many of them will be convicted. Will the government let their supporters indulge in similar antics? Or will all action be taken based on the number of followers – hence the vote bank – of the “godmen”? This really is poor, unethical governance. Propriety demands that not the DCP of Panchkula but M L Khattar be removed from his post for abdicating his duty in the first place and then blaming the police officer for his misdeeds.