Following several incriminating tweets of February 20, and a Firstpost expose on 21 February, the Congress Party was forced to issue a show cause notice to Prof. Virender, former political advisor to ex-Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda — tacitly admitting to a political conspiracy to give a sudden and violent twist to the Jat quota stir in Haryana that has already claimed no less than 16 lives.
It is highly unlikely that Prof. Virender acted unilaterally or alone. But in picking him for action and limiting it to him, the Haryana Congress made clear its intent to deflect fire from Prof. Virender’s boss, Hooda, who was on a 'fast for peace' in New Delhi at precisely the time that his home town Rohtak was burning.
The violent Jat quota stir comes at a time when Hooda faces a CBI inquiry 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 sources revealing that an FIR could be lodged against him any moment.
Show cause notice
Issued on 22 February by the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee President, Dr Ashok Tanwar, the show cause categorically states: “It has come to our notice through media and social media that an audio clipping circulated on the evening of 21st February, 2016, it has been alleged that you are responsible for instigating the protestors to start violent agitation in other districts of the state which were comparatively peaceful and that too with the support of our rival political party namely INLD and their student wing INSO."
This audio tape of Prof. Virender, advising a captain to stir up fresh violence, came into the public domain late on Sunday, 21 February, 2016.
In the audio, the professor is heard asking the captain to stir up trouble in Sirsa, while commending the ‘work’ achieved in the Deshwal belt which comprises parts of Rohtak, Jind and Sonepat. Rohtak is Hooda’s political constituency and hometown and has had to face the worst of the mob arson and plunder.
The BJP has been forced to deploy 33 army columns in 9 districts of Haryana with maximum deployment in Rohtak. Additional columns are on standby.
The professor, who had earlier admitted on a local Haryana news channel (also reported by the Indian Express) that it is his voice in the tape, later stated that his words were twisted out of context. He also now claims that the ‘captain’ he was speaking to was a random caller and he does not know his name.
Unfortunately for the professor, Captain Maan Singh, President of the Dalal Khap Chaurasi, has admitted that it was he who was in conversation with Prof Virender in the audio tape.
The on-ground evidence of Congress’s role is even more damaging than the audio, pointing to a well calibrated attack to loot and settle personal scores in the guise of a quota-led agitation hijacked by mindless mob fury.
For example, the maximum carnage was witnessed in Rohtak and Jhajjar areas, Hooda’s political strongholds. The mob went on a rampage all along a 7-km stretch from the IG Police’s office to Quila Road.
Curiously, Hooda’s house and properties were untouched while neighboring houses were torched. The BJP’s state finance minster, Capt. Abhimanyu’s house was completely looted and burnt while his family, who were home when the mob attacked, had to flee to safety. The same treatment was meted out to BJP MLA, Manish Grover.
Hooda and his family, including his son and Congress MLA from Rohtak, Deepender Hooda, however, were nowhere to be seen in their hometown because they had been able to make a ‘timely’ exit from the scene. A perfect act of political Hooda-ni!
The motivated violence on display in the ongoing agitation has taken 16 lives so far, while injuring another 183. Around 102 persons have been arrested and 320 cases registered.
There has been widespread damage to public and private property with the torching of homes, schools, offices, shops and public and private transport. Rail services in the northern states impacted around 1,337 trains, which includes 527 trains cancelled, besides serious damage to rail property.
The overall damage is estimated at over Rs 34,000 crore. Curfew has been imposed in Rohtak, Bhiwani, Jhajjar and Hisar.
The more dangerous long-term social impact is the planting of a strong 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.
This politically sponsored violent quota stir is further strategically timed to sabotage the state government’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 Haryana in the global spotlight.
Yet, the Congress Party continues to attribute the escalating quota violence to the BJP’s incapability to govern the state. The BJP, on its part, while anticipating some violence, admits to being unprepared for the scale and ferocity of the politically sponsored mob violence unleashed on the state.
According to sources in the state administration, the priority of the government is to cool tempers and bring the state back to normal before it investigates the Congress role in the quota stir. Khattar is visiting Rohtak today to appeal for peace and restraint.
Despite all this mayhem, the show cause notice attempts to allow wiggle room to Prof Virender by adding: “As you are a member of the Congress party, such outright irresponsible behaviour is not expected from you, therefore, you are directed to reply within three days of receiving this letter. If no reply is received within three days from today then disciplinary action shall be initiated against you.”
Normally, “disciplinary” action involves the sacking of a party member, but in this case, mere dismissal from the party would be a token soft touch reprimand considering the destruction that has been wreaked on the State of Haryana.
Despite Rohtak being a part of the National Capital Region (NCR), the national media, blinded by a collective hatred for the BJP, has remained apathetic to the fact that the Congress, with the possible help of the BJP’s political rivals in Haryana, has wreaked such unholy destruction upon Haryana. The BJP’s inability, in Haryana and at the Centre, to pin the Congress down for playing with the lives of Indian citizens is another story altogether.