New Delhi: The Haryana Police has registered an F.I.R. (No. 0101) in Rohtak Civil Lines Police Station against former Haryana Chief Minister BS Hooda’s key accomplice and former political advisor, Professor Virender and others for sedition under IPC Sections 109, 120B, 124A, 153A, 153B, 427 and Section 3 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act 1984.
The move follows an expose first on Twitter on 20 February, 2016, and through a Firstpost article a day later pointing to Hooda’s role in inciting loot, arson and settling of personal scores in Haryana in the guise of a Jat reservation agitation.
The F.I.R is based on a complaint filed on Wednesday by Capt. Pawan Kumar Anchal and the occurrence of offense has been listed as 14.2.2016 to 21.2.2016.
Capt. Anchal had asked for a case to be registered against Prof Virender and others for “abetting and hatching a criminal conspiracy of seditious activities leading to large-scale destruction, arson, looting and vandalizing of public and private property, as well as loss of money and innocent lives.”
According to the F.I.R, a copy of which is with Firstpost, from 12 February “an unlawful assembly in the name of demand of reservation to Jat community was started by a section of Jat community at Mayyar (Hisar)” by blocking of a railway track.
Two days later, “another unlawful assembly was started at Sampla Rohtak by blocking national highway connecting Rohtak to Delhi. After this, the unlawful agitation spread to Jhajhar, Sonipat, Bhiwani, Jind, Hisar, Fatehbad, Panipat, Kaithal, Palwal, Gurgaon, Faridabad and other districts of Haryana. Roads and railways tracks at many places were blocked by agitators and protestors”.
“These protests were being run and organized mostly by nears and dears and close party leaders and workers of Sh. Bhupender Singh Hooda, Ex Chief Minister of Haryana. On 18.2.16, violence erupted in Rohtak city which continued on 19, 20, 21.2.16 during which more than 500 shops, petrol pumps, schools, shopping malls, car show rooms, banks and houses of the public have been looted by agitators, vandalized and set on fire in an organized manner”, reads the F.I.R.
“Such type of looting, vandalism and arson was done in other cities of Haryana also. Due to large-scale arson, looting and vandalism the state of Haryana was forced to call paramilitary forces and the Army for controlling the law and order situation in the state”, it reads.
“During arson many persons were injured by the protestors and even killing of person were done in Rohtak. Public and private properties were damaged. During controlling the situation of law and order many protestors of Jat community have also been killed in police and military action in Rohtak and other parts of the state.”
“As per reports published in media, public and private property worth more than Rs 20,000 crore has been vandalized in Rohtak and parts of the state under the influence of high profile politicians”, says the F.I.R.
“Even the Munak Canal supplying water to Delhi was damaged and taken over by protestors/miscreants. Intensity, spread and force of unlawful movement was so strong and organized that even government machinery failed in all manner to save public property in Rohtak city and parts of Rohtak district and Haryana military also had a tough time controlling these miscreants claiming to be protestors of the Jat reservation movement”, it reads.
The FIR further quotes the contents of the audio clip that surfaced on 21 February. In the clip, the Professor is heard provoking Captain Man Singh Dalal (Retd) to stir up trouble in Sirsa, while commending the ‘work’ achieved in the Deshwal belt which comprises parts of Rohtak, Jind and Sonepat.
Professor Virender, who had earlier admitted on a local Haryana news channel that it is his voice in the tape, later stated that his words were twisted out of context. He has also claimed that the ‘Captain’ he was speaking to was a random caller and he does not know his name.
Unfortunately for him, Captain Maan Singh, president of the Dalal Khap Chaurasi, admitted that he had been conversing with Prof Virender in the clip.
Rohtak, Hooda’s political constituency and hometown, faced the worst of the mob arson and plunder. About 33 army columns in 9 districts of Haryana were deployed with maximum deployment in Rohtak. Additional columns are on standby.
The violence on display in the ongoing agitation has taken 19 lives so far while injuring another 183. Around 127 persons have been arrested and 535 cases have been registered. There has been widespread damage to public and private property with torching of homes, schools, offices, shops and public and private transport.
Around 1,337 trains in the northern states were impacted and 527 trains were cancelled, besides serious damage inflicted on rail property. The overall damage is estimated at over Rs 34,000 crore. Curfew has been imposed in Rohtak, Bhiwani, Jhajjar and Hisar.
According to the FIR, “innocent citizens have been killed due to criminal conspiracy and acts of Prof Virender and others”.
The Congress was also forced to admit to its role in the violent twist to Jat quota stir in Haryana from 20 February. It issued a show cause notice to Prof Virender on 23 February.
In so doing, Congress made clear its intent to deflect political fire from his boss Hooda despite the fact that it is abundantly clear that Virender could not have acted alone. This is also reflected in the F.I.R.
Hooda's attempt to hold BJP-ruled Haryana to ransom comes at a time when he faces a CBI enquiry for the illegal allotment of a plot in Panchkula. His role in the allotment of a plot to National Herald is also under scrutiny, with an F.I.R. set to be lodged against him at any time.
The more dangerous long term social impact of this planned violence is the deliberate planting of a seed of enmity between Jats and non-Jats in Haryana. Interestingly, like Hooda, Rohtak is also Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar’s hometown except that Hooda is a Jat and Khattar is not.
The politically sponsored violent quota stir is strategically timed to sabotage the state’s Happening Haryana Global Investors Summit in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) which was scheduled to be held on 7-9 March, 2016. It has succeeded in achieving this objective by putting a burning, lawless Haryana in the global spotlight.