Jat quota violence probe: Institutional decay, officers wait for political masters’ directions

Singh also expresses dismay at the decay of the institution of divisional commissioner in the state.

Written by Sanjeev Verma | Chandigarh | Updated: May 31, 2016 3:52 pm
Jat Agitation, jat reservation, jat reservation row, haryana jat quota, Haryana, Haryana Backward Classes, Haryana Backward Class, Jats, Bishnois, Tyagis, Rors, Jat Nyay rally, Akhil Bharatiya Jat Aarakshan Samiti, india news, haryana news, latest news, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar talking to people affected by Jat agitation, in Rohtak. (PTI Photo)

The Prakash Singh committee appointed to probe acts of omission and commission on the part of police officers and civil administration during the Jat quota violence in February has pointed to the institutional decay over the years which played its part in the massive administrative collapse in Haryana during the stir.

“The bureaucracy in the state has lost its elan. The police has forgotten that it is the strong arm of the state and that it is expected to use appropriate force when the authority of the state is challenged. Officers have started looking up to the political masters for directions even when law has given them specific powers and authority. There was institutional decay, leading to loss of initiative and officers playing safe most of the time,” says the report.

READ | What Haryana govt hasn’t made public: report that indicts top brass for inaction, caste bias

“Our established institutions and the recognised hierarchy should be able to rise to the occasion, howsoever serious, and deal with it. The problems of the kind we all witnessed arose because institutions have been subverted, procedures have been corrupted and the police organisation in particular has been politicised to an extent where it has become almost dysfunctional and incapable of handling very grave situations,” it says.

Singh also expresses dismay at the decay of the institution of divisional commissioner in the state. “Haryana state has excellent commissioners… However, we would have been happier if they had extended guidance to the district officers in their moments of crisis instead of state government having to transplant officers from Chandigarh,” says the report, referring to the decision to send a group of senior IAS/ IPS officers from Chandigarh when the situation spiralled out of control.


READ | From DGP down, probe names officers, lists errors

The report says the committee was “surprised and disappointed that the state has no system of (or, maybe, the system has fallen in disuse) situation reports (sitrep) being sent by districts on a daily basis when the situation is really serious. It is a standard practice in most of the states that when there is serious law and order situation, the deputy commissioner/ district magistrate and the superintendent of police send a joint sitrep to the home department, DGP and other concerned officers every evening to keep them posted of the latest developments. The practice also ensures that the DC and the SP work in close cooperation.”

About the hesitation in use of force during the violence, the committee found that “over a period of years, during successive governments, officers had become used to disputes being resolved at the eleventh hour by the politicians. Besides, the use of force was frowned upon by the establishment.”

READ | Haryana Jat agitation report: Army deployed on large-scale, but not properly utilised

Prakash Committee Report-Vol I

The committee found that officers in general felt that the government does not want firing to be resorted to even under grave provocation and that there should be no loss of life due to police action. “It was for the government to have dispelled this impression. An order or instruction from the chief secretary or the additional chief secretary (home) would have made a world of difference. Unfortunately, however, there was no such missive,” says the report.

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  1. N
    May 31, 2016 at 3:17 pm
    The insution of District Commissioner is now defunct. They serve at whims and fancy. have little experience of the ground. rarely move out of the offices and are generally seen either receiving or seeing off the politicians.lt;br/gt;The office has become den of inefficiency as they are made o toe the line of political masters. sycophancy is the order of the day.
    1. S
      sarthak chotani
      May 31, 2016 at 4:44 pm
      What is your opinion?khatr sarkar ek imaandar srkaar h .. joo insaan do number ka pesa khna hila hua h vo kese imandaar srkaar ko dekh skta h jese congress k leader
      1. M
        Malkit Singh
        Jun 1, 2016 at 11:28 am
        Inaction of police in trouble area is not a new one. Instead of taking firm action against these goons, the police officers ran away to save their own lives. Bad precedent was set up by late Shri Rajiv hi who had given strict instructions not file criminal cases during 1984 riots. What we have sowed, we have been reaping since 1984. I was coming from Patiala with my family members. We were stopped at Panipat Toll Collection We were advised to stop here as angry mob had been setting every car on fire. When I asked one Police man why they were not taking stern action against them, he replied, How we can kill our own brothers, and they were fighting for good cause for our own community. Criminal cases are filed on selected communities and particular religion. All Congress leaders were behind these riots. They were inciting the youths. We came to Delhi via Meerut and reached at our Delhi homes after 13 hours. It has been proved many times that not only in Haryana but in other states that police is active where minorities are involved. Our governments have two laws but the consution of India says law is equal to all citizens of India. By these illegal and undesirable acts, we are digging the graves of democratic system and we are all to fall in the said graves later or sooner.
        1. U
          May 31, 2016 at 6:27 am
          anyone from the RSS school of thought thinks that they are 'automatically' intelligent, supremely intelligent to handle any situation because this is the most ancient culture, there is no religion greater than hinduism, and empowered with the greatest knowledge - vedas. perhaps they are expecting their gods and goddesses to come down to their rescue ie divine intervention?