Ex-Haryana CM Bhupinder Hooda demands probe by HC judge into Panchkula violence

Chandigarh: Former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Friday demanded that a sitting high court judge probe the deadly violence in Panchkula following the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case.

At least 35 people were killed and hundreds injured in the violence in Haryana and Punjab in August. A majority of the dead were shot by police who had to open fire to quell the protesters.

"The entire episode leading to the Panchkula violence needs in-depth probe. A commission headed by a sitting judge of the high court should be set up for the probe," Hooda said.

File image of Bhupinder Singh Hooda. News18

File image of Bhupinder Singh Hooda. News18

He told reporters that former Uttar Pradesh DGP Prakash Singh, under whom the Haryana government had set up a panel to probe the role of police and civil administration officials during the Jat reservation stir last year, should assist the commission.

A number of "conspiracy theories" have been doing the rounds, he said, adding that the state government had first said that Section 144 had been imposed in the city, but how did thousands of Dera followers gathered in Panchkula ahead of Ram Rahim's conviction by a special CBI court on 25 August.

"The government first said those who had gathered there did not carry any weapons or sticks, but when violence broke out, they changed their stance," he said.

The senior Congress leader said his party will take this up, the scrapping of the Dadupur Nalvi canal issue and the alleged injustice to farmers in the upcoming Assembly session.

"We will not allow the House to function if the BJP government fails to provide satisfactory answers," he said.

Hooda said during the three years of reign of the BJP government in Haryana three violent incidents have taken place, including the Jat reservation and Rampal issues.

"It is for the first time in Haryana's history that more people have fallen to police bullets in the past three years against those who died in similar incidents from 1966 (when state came into existence) till 2014," he claimed.

The two-time chief minister said the BJP government was a "fraud", which has no moral right to continue in power.

Asked to comment on a war of words between Haryana and Punjab chief ministers, when Haryana accused Punjab of hiding information about Ram Rahim Singh's aide Honeypreet's whereabouts, Hooda said Haryana chief minister ML Khattar was trying to hide his failures.

Attacking the Haryana government on the Dera issue, Hooda asked: "Was it not the Haryana government which took Honeypreet in a helicopter to Sunaria jail in Rohtak? Why was she later allowed to go to Dera Sacha Sauda in Sirsa and then to Rajasthan. All this smacks of a deep-rooted conspiracy".

He said the government was doing nothing to de-stress the farming sector. "The government went back on the promises it made to the peasants," he said.

Hooda also said the scrapping of high-value currency in November last year and the implementation of the GST with high rates have put the common people and traders under duress.

Updated Date: Oct 06, 2017 20:25 PM

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