IN ITS 451-page report, the three member committee headed by retired Uttar Pradesh DGP Prakash Singh has found “deliberate negligence and malafide” on the part of 90 police, administrative and revenue officers who failed to control law and order situation in eight districts of Haryana during February Jat agitation violence.
A total of 30 persons had died and 324 persons, including 67 personnel of security forces, were injured during the Jat reservation agitation.
Sources disclosed that the probe panel has also raised questions on the conduct of Additional Chief Secretary (Home) P K Das and former Director-General of Police YP Singhal.
“Some officers worked really hard in the face of difficulty but many officers just spent the time and gave free hand to perpetrators of crime to loot and destroy the properties. We have commented upon many senior IPS and IAS officer after properly analysing the situation”, Prakash Singh said.
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Sources disclosed that the IAS officers indicted by the probe panel include the then Deputy Commissioner, Rohtak, D K Behera, the then DC Sonipat Rajiv Rattan, DC Jhajjar Anita Yadav and the then DC Hisar Chandra Shekhar Khare.
The IPS officers indicted by the panel include the then IG (Rohtak range) Shrikant Jadhav, then Superintendents of Police, Abhishek Garg (Sonipat), Sumit Kumar (Jhajjar) and Krishan Murari (Kaithal) for negligence in performing their official duties. The others who have been indicted by the probe panel include the then SDM Sonipat and four Deputy Superintendents of Police, then posted in Rohtak and Sonipat. There are 14 SDMs and 14 SHOs indicted by the probe panel.
Apart from Anita Yadav, all three had already been transferred out of their then places of postings in March. Anita Yadav is the sister of Haryana Vidhan Sabha’s deputy speaker Santosh Yadav, a BJP MLA from Ateli assembly constituency.
The report submitted to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday has been prepared over a short span of 71 days. In police department, these negligent officers range from Sub Inspector level to Inspector General of Police level and in administrative and revenue department, from Naib Tehsildar level to Deputy Commissioner level.
“Police vyavstha desh main jar-jar ho rahi ha. The action which you want from police during national or internal security, they will not be able to give you. This is a great example before you in Haryana. Police system has weakened in Haryana as well,” said Prakash Singh.
The committee did not recommend any specific action against any of the senior officers leaving it to the state government to take appropriate action as per law.
The committee headed by Prakash Singh was being assisted by senior IAS officer Vijai Vardhan and Haryana DGP KP Singh to probe acts of omission and commission on the part of police officers and civil administration. The committee has met 2,217 people, including victims of crime, in Rohtak, Hisar, Jind, Jhajjar, Kaithal, Sonepat, Panipat and Bhiwani, examined 143 portions of video footage and recorded statements of 395 people. The report has been compiled in two volumes, the first one with 414 pages would be made public and the second “confidential” volume spread over 37 pages about the intelligence wing would be submitted to the Home Department as well as the DGP.
“Many officers took alibi that they did not get orders from the top. What kind of orders do you need when a house is being looted in front of you? You have powers under CrPC,” added the committee head. He said that the committee has not analysed officers caste wise and the man who has not performed his duty, has not performed it. “There was confusion in the mind of some officers if we take strict action, whether government would defend us or whether it would amount in aggravating the situation. Some were there who accepted mistake and said that I got feared and ran away,” he added, clarifying that lack of right recruitment, right leadership, proper training and motivation is to be blamed.
Conflict of interest?
Sources disclosed that the probe panel also raised questions on the conduct of ACS (Home) PK Das and former DGP YP Singhal. However, the report that was submitted to the Chief Minister was forwarded by him to the ACS (Home). PK Das was also present in the media briefing that was chaired by Prakash Singh. When contacted, PK Das said, “I have got the report but have not gone through it. I can not say anything till I read it”.
Intelligence wing given clean chit
Prakash Singh said, “There was no lapse on part of the intelligence wing of the state police department”.
Report not binding on state government
Prakash Singh said, “This report is not binding upon the government. But I have met the Chief Minister and the government is soon going to prepare action taken report. Until strict action is taken against such officers, it would not send a positive message.”
About political interference
Prakash Singh said, “The committee has not gone into the “political interference” and “conspiracy angle” as it is being looked into by the judicial Commission under retired Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, SN Jha.
On alleged ‘sexual harassment’ of women in Murthal
Prakash Singh said, “No major case of molestation came to the notice of the committee. However, the report consists of some observations for the Centre and the judiciary as to what is expected from them in such cases and in future”.
What they said
Anita Yadav said, “I have not yet seen the report and would only be able to comment once I go through it”.
DK Behera said, “I am not in a position to comment as I am not aware of the contents of the report. It has been submitted to the government. As far as I am concerned, I performed my duty as per the law of the land and to the best of my ability in the difficult circumstances.”