“Loha Tata ka, joota Bata ka aur Chhora Jatan ka – inse upar koi cheez nahi hai (Nothing is better than iron manufactured by Tata, shoes by Bata and sons of Jats)”. This remark, wrongly attributed to Dushyant Chautala, then MP from Hisar, during February 2016 Jat reservation agitation, in a report has landed retired IPS officer Prakash Singh and two serving officers of Haryana in a soup.
Prakash Singh, a former DG (BSF), DGP (Uttar Pradesh) and DGP (Assam), had later discovered that the remarks were, in fact, made by Dushyant’s younger brother Digvijay Chautala while addressing a public gathering in Hisar.
Prakash Singh and others are currently facing a defamation suit filed by Dushyant, the incumbent Deputy Chief Minister of Haryana, who is pursuing the case in New Delhi’s Patiala House Courts. The case that has seen 14 hearings in the last four years is currently in the stage of arguments, and shall now be coming up for next hearing on March 7.
At least 30 people died in the communal clashes that marred Haryana in February 2016 during the Jat reservation agitation that turned violent. A panel to probe the “role of officers of civil administration and police during the agitation (February 7-22, 2016)” was constituted. Prakash Singh headed the committee and two officers of Haryana – Vijai Vardhan (IAS) and Dr KP Singh (IPS) – were assisting him.
Prakash Singh, in Chapter 4, titled “Adding fuel to fire”, of his report, had quoted examples of inflammatory speeches calling it “rabid statements” given by various leaders “demanding” and “opposing” Jat reservation.
One such statement quoted under paragraph 4.3 of the chapter, was attributed to Dushyant. The statement read – “Teen baatein suni aur teen cheezen dekhi. Main kehta hoon, in teen cheezon se upar koi cheez nahi hai. Aur agar ho toh aap mujhe rok dena. Is duniya mein – Loha Tata ka, Tata se mazboot loha kisi ka nahi hai, bata do aur joota Bata ka hai ke nahi, aur chora Jaatan ka. Toh yeh chore Jat ke jo hain, inse upar koi cheez nahi hai” (I have heard three statements and seen three things. I say that there is nothing above these three things and if there is one, you can interrupt me. In this world, nothing is better than iron manufactured by Tata, shoes by Bata and the sons of Jats).”
Prakash Singh submitted his report to the state government in May 2016. It created a furor in the political and bureaucratic circles. Dushyant refuted the remarks attributed to him in the report. In June the same year, Prakash Singh even wrote a corrigendum, correcting the error in his report.
He wrote, “It was brought to my notice that Shri Dushyant Chautala, MP had not made any such statement. The DGP, Haryana was thereupon requested to check the original audio-video record. He has since done that and conveyed to me that, while the contents of para 4.3 (1) are correct, the statement was actually made by Shri Digvijay Chautala and not Shri Dushyant Chautala, as mentioned in the report. There was a mistake in conveying relevant information to the committee and the mistake was unfortunately carried forward in the report”.
“As former chairman of the committee, I nevertheless take full responsibility for the mistake and conveyed my deepest regards for the same to Shri Dushyant Chautala,” he further said.
However, in October 2016, Dushyant filed a case against Prakash Singh and others. Till date, 14 hearings have taken place in the case with the last one held on February 10.
Dushyant is also pursuing another defamation case against his Cabinet colleague Anil Vij who had allegedly made objectionable remarks against him last year.
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