A day after Haryana Police personnel and Arya Samaj followers clashed in Rohtak,resulting in the death of three persons and injuring 117,the incident has raised question marks over the efficiency of the state police.
Trouble was brewing in Karontha village for over a month since the Supreme Court ordered the police to maintain status quo at Satlok Ashram,ie,let ashram head Sant Rampal stay there. Soon after the verdict,Arya Samaj followers had given a deadline to the district administration and government that in case the ashram was not vacated by May 12,they will launch a massive agitation.
However,the police failed to gauge the intensity of the problem and only deployed a few hundred personnel to guard the ashram on Sunday. Only at the last moment,when they found the situation going out of control,they resorted to firing teargas shells,lathicharging protesters and subsequently opening fire.
Trouble started on Sunday morning when police tried to stop villagers,most of them supporters of the Arya Samaj,from marching towards the Satlok Ashram. The mob torched three Haryana roadways buses,several police motorbikes,an ambulance,shops and tankers on the Rohtak-Jhajjar highway. The clash worsened after the mob began hurling stones and police had to cane them. More than 60 police personnel,including 32 women,and dozens of protestors sustained injuries including some from gunshots.
Though the villagers had claimed they were unarmed and accused the police and Rampals followers of opening fire,the police had said the villagers opened fire first. Now,five companies of CRPF and three companies of BSF have been brought in to manage the situation.
Karontha is not the only incident where the Haryana Police had failed to control a violent situation. There had been instances in the recent past,where mob had even torched police and railway stations.
In September,2010,Jats had torched a railway station in Hisars Uklana while they were demanding reservation from the state government. A similar incident happened again in Hisar in March,2012 when during another Jat agitation,protestors torched a police station and ransacked a bank in Hisars cantonment area.
For the last three consecutive years,three persons have died in police-public clash during Jat agitations in Haryana.
In November,last year,residents of Bhiwani had torched a police station in Bond village over the murder of two brothers and also stolen weapons from the police. The police are yet failed to arrest the person who allegedly murdered two brothers.
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