Chandigarh: In what can be rarest of rare cases when the judiciary gets annoyed with the civil government’s inaction, the Punjab-Haryana High Court on late Friday night accused the BJP headed Khattar government’s failure to prevent violence and charged it with connivance of Dera Chief supporters.
The judges said that the Haryana government had failed during the Jat agitation and the (Baba) Rampal agitation and did not want another such situation to arise again. The court even threatened to take action against the entire Haryana government and the DGP.
The BJP Government in Haryana miserably failed to contain the violence after Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was Friday convicted of the rape of two sadhvis of his sect, as it did not act on intelligence inputs and did not implement the Section 144 of CrPC orders properly.
Sources said that the Haryana police had intelligence inputs that lakhs of followers were coming to Panchkula where their ‘godman’ would be to be present in the special CBI court today in this case. As not only state intelligence had this information that the Dera followers were planning to congregate at Panchkula but central intelligence agencies and neighbouring Punjab Police too had shared the information with the Haryana Police.
But the police did not act and let the Dera supporters freely enter the city. All the police did was to put up a few barricades in place but to no avail.
On condition of anonymity a police officer said, “If we had the orders to stop Dera followers, we would have stopped them but we did not have any such orders.”
When questioned by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the state government had no answer to why Section 144 (prohibitory orders) was not imposed in letter and spirit. More than an lakh and fifty thousand Dera followers, known as premis, flooded the quiet town of Panchkula in Haryana over three days ahead of the verdict pronounced by the CBI court located there.
That Haryana Police had prior intelligence and did not act came to light when Haryana Advocate General yesterday told the Punjab and Haryana High court that they had imposed section 144 (prohibitory orders). The High Court on reading the notification came down heavily on the Haryana government, pointing out that the government had not expressly banned the assembly of five or more people in Panchkula. To this the AG admitted that there had been a mistake in the notification and that they would correct it now.
But it was too late as more than a lakh of people had already reached Panchkula by then.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday visited the Civil Hospital in Panchkula to meet those injured in the violent protests. When asked about the intelligence inputs and goof-up in implementing section 144 he had no answer.