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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Khattar’s security breach: House panel set to summon Haryana police chief

On the last day of Haryana's Budget Session on March 10, a group nine SAD MLAs from Punjab, led by former minister Bikramjit Majithia, had breached Khattar's security, and raised slogans while demanding that Haryana government pass a resolution against the three central agri laws.

Written by Varinder Bhatia | Chandigarh |
August 6, 2021 8:39:18 pm
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar at Haryana Legislative Assembly in Chandigarh on March 12 2021. (Express photo by Jasbir Malhi)

Haryana Director General of Police Manoj Yadava is all set to be summoned by the privileges committee of the Vidhan Sabha — a first for any police chief of the state — over alleged laxity in the security of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar who was gheraoed by several Punjab legislators in the Vidhan Sabha complex in March this year.

Speaker Gian Chand Gupta confirmed the development. “Yes, the matter has been referred to the privileges committee. It is correct that the DGP Manoj Yadava shall be summoned by the privileges committee. Not only him, but other officers too who were found wanting in their duty shall also be summoned. All of them will have to appear,” Gupta told The Indian Express.

The Monsoon Session of the Assembly is scheduled to begin on August 20. Hisar MLA Dr Kamal Gupta heads the privileges committee.

On the last day of Haryana’s Budget Session on March 10, a group nine Shiromani Akali Dal MLAs from Punjab, led by former minister Bikramjit Majithia, had breached Khattar’s security, and raised slogans while demanding that Haryana government pass a resolution against the three central agri laws.

Three days later, all nine MLAs including Majithia, Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Baldev Singh Khaira, Kanwarjit Singh Barkandi, Sukhwinder Kumar, Manpreet Singh Ayali, Harinder Pal Singh Chandumajra, Gurpartap Singh Wadala and Narinder Kumar Sharma were booked by Chandigarh Police under Sections 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of duty), 323 (causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 511 (attempt to commit offences) of the Indian Penal Code.

Taking serious note of the incident Gupta had ordered a probe. A joint coordination committee of senior police officers of Haryana, Punjab and Union Territory of Chandigarh was also constituted to prepare a security action plan for future Vidhan Sabha sittings.

The Speaker, talking to The Indian Express, said, “It, indeed, is a serious matter because both the reports submitted by the DGP were found unsatisfactory. Thus, I referred the matter to the privileges committee. If the privileges committee’s decision is also not followed, it goes to the House”.

The Speaker added that “there have been instances in other states where the House has reprimanded and punished officers even to the rank of Senior Superintendents of Police for not following privileges committee’s instructions”.

Sources disclosed that the Speaker is “extremely unhappy” over alleged inaction against the officers who were responsible for CM’s security.

Sources, privy to the details of the reports submitted by the DGP, said that in his first report, Yadava had held IPS officer Pankaj Nain and eight other police officials and Vidhan Sabha secretariat’s staff guilty for the security breach. However, in his subsequent report, state police chief exonerated Nain and six others while holding only three personnel were held responsible. “The incident had happened when the chief minister was briefing media. The entire incident when Akali MLAs charged towards the CM was approximately 8 minutes long and captured by the CCTV. It is surprising how DGP exonerated all the officers in his report, specially when those officers were found sitting in the VIP room when the incident took place,” a senior Haryana officer told The Indian Express.

Haryana and Punjab share the Vidhan Sabha complex that has seven common entrances. Majithia had claimed that the protest took place at the Vidhan Sabha parking, which belongs to Punjab too.

Meanwhile, amid an ongoing tussle with Home Minister Anil Vij, Yadava has sought repatriation to the Intelligence Bureau citing family requirements and career considerations. A 1988-batch IPS officer, Yadava has four years of service left.

Vij had the request but asked Yadava to continue to hold the post till a successor is appointed. Yadava has already completed his two-year tenure and was granted a one year extension by the Centre. Haryana has now sent a panel of eligible IPS officers to the UPSC to pick Yadava’s replacement.

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