oppn parties Dera Violence: Khattar Should Resign

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  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
oppn parties
Dera Violence: Khattar Should Resign

By Sunil Garodia

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.