A khap mahapanchayat in Haryana Thursday “exonerated” the persons accused of arson and vandalism at former finance minister Capt Abhimanyu’s family residence in Rohtak during February 2016 Jat reservation violence.
Abhimanyu’s brother Vir Sen Sindhu attended the mahapanchayat at Jind and accepted the verdict.
The mahapanchayat added that it will accept the final verdict in the case pertaining to the vandalism being heard by a CBI court and will stand with the Sindhu family. It, however, constituted a committee to examine the legal aspects of the case.
The mahapanchayat, convened at Jind’s Jat Dharamshala, was attended by representatives of several khaps. The mahapanchayat accepted that vandalising Abhimanyu’s family’s home in Sector 14 of Rothak and other establishments belonging to his family was wrong. Those allegedly responsible for the act, who are also figuring as accused in the criminal case being investigated by the CBI, also tendered a written apology.
A committee comprising 21 representatives of various khaps was constituted that examined and discussed the apology letter. Abhimanyu’s brother remained present during the discussion. About an hour later, the committee resolved that the apology was accepted and those responsible for the attack are pardoned by the family and even the Jat community.
The mahapanchayat also announced to pay a penalty of Rs 11,000 to donated to a gaushala (cow shelter). The Sindhu family, however, waived off the penalty.
The mahapanchayat meeting was headed by Satrol khap’s head Ramniwas Lohan.
In 2018, the All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharh Samiti (AIJASS) had announced to socially boycott Abhimanyu, who is a resident of Khanda kheri village in Narnaund that comes under the purview of Satrol khap. However, the Satrol khap had stood behind Abhimanyu and his family and taken strong exception to the diktat issued by AIJASS.
In the apology letter, the accused expressed regret for the arson and attack on Sindhu family. They added that they will accept the verdict given by the mahapanchayat. Abhimanyu’s brother too said that his family will accept whatever verdict the khaps will pass.
The mahapanchayat ruled that “it was not only an attack on Sindhu family, but a larger conspiracy against the entire community” and condemned all those who were directly or indirectly responsible for it.
A committee was constituted that will seek legal opinion on how to get the mahapanchayat’s decision implemented. “However, if the court of law gives its verdict against anybody, the panchayat or any individual shall not be blamed for that,” it decided.
“It is a historical step, due to which communal harmony will be strengthened. The issue was pending for long. Today, the representatives of 108 khaps and also heads of various other communities took part in the mahapanchayat. We got them all together and the issue has been settled. Whatever had happened in the past should be buried now in the interest of communal harmony,” said Ramniwas Lohan.
Kitab Singh, another Khap leader, said, “It was required that the issue be decided within the community. The decision taken by the panchayat is a constructive step in the right direction”.
“Although Sindhu family has their affiliation with Satrol khap, but since they are settled in Rohtak for the last over seven decades, they are our family members. The family has always helped those in need and their contribution to the society cannot be forgotten. It was a bad phase that has passed. People of Rohtak are with Sindhu family,” added Mahender Singh, another khap leader.
Abhimanyu, who represented Narnaund assembly constituency, had lost to JJP’s Ram Kumar Gautam in 2019 Vidhan Sabha polls by over 12,000 votes.
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