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Haryana violence: Chief Minister Khattar seeks additional central forces

Twenty companies of central forces are already deployed in Haryana -- 14 in Nuh, three in Palwal, two in Gurugram and one in Faridabad

PTI Chandigarh Published 02.08.23, 08:38 PM
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal addresses a press conference, at Haryana Niwas in Chandigarh.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal addresses a press conference, at Haryana Niwas in Chandigarh. PTI picture

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday appeared to disagree with his deputy over the cause of the communal violence that has killed six people as he sought four more companies of central forces to restore peace in the state.

Asked about his deputy Dushyant Chautala saying the organisers of the religious procession that was attacked did not give a proper estimation of the expected turnout, Khattar said at a press conference that it was not like that.

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Khattar also sought four additional companies of central forces following the communal clashes and said a battalion of the India Reserve Battalion will also be deployed in Nuh.

Twenty companies of central forces are already deployed in Haryana -- 14 in Nuh, three in Palwal, two in Gurugram and one in Faridabad.

Six people, including two home guards and a cleric, have died in the clashes that erupted in Nuh over an attempt to stop a Vishva Hindu Parishad procession and spread to Gurugram over the past two days.

As he appealed for peace, the chief minister asserted that those found responsible for the clashes will not be spared.

Khattar said 116 people have been arrested and 90 detained since Monday's clashes in Nuh.

Asked about the Bajrang Dal's Monu Manesar, Khattar said he was booked by the Rajasthan Police and added that his government will provide any assistance they require to nab him.

On Tuesday, Chautala told reporters in Delhi that such an incident never occurred in the history of the state.

"... the organisers of the yatra had not given proper estimation to the district administration about the crowd participating in the event. Lack of this information somewhere or the other appears to have led to the incident," the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) leader said.

However, disagreeing with his ally, Khattar said, "It is not like that." There have been signs of differences between the two allies in recent months. The BJP governs Haryana in an alliance with the JJP.

"When information of the yatra was received, the deputy commissioner held meetings with both sides a day before and the administration was assured that the event would take place in a peaceful manner. But suddenly, the events that took place and the incident are now being investigated," Khattar added.

Replying to a question on the damage to properties, the chief minister said whoever caused damage to government or private properties will be liable to pay compensation and added that Haryana has already enacted a law in this regard.

Asked about Manesar, booked in the February killing of two Muslim men and accused by some to be a trigger for the Nuh violence, Khattar said the Rajasthan Police is free to act against him and the Haryana government will extend its help.

He was also asked if a video of Manesar in which he is heard saying that he would join the procession acted as an instigation, Khattar said he was booked by the Rajasthan Police and added that his government will provide whatever assistance is required in nabbing him.

"The Rajasthan Police was looking for him. We do not have any input on where he is now. Whether they have (inputs about him), we cannot say. The Rajasthan Police is free to act against him and we will extend as much help as they require from us," he stated.

Manesar, a cow vigilante, was booked by the Rajasthan Police in connection with murder of two Muslim men whose charred bodies were found in Bhiwani district in February.

To another question, Khattar said there is no issue of Manesar's presence on the day of the Nuh incident.

Many rumours are also circulated due to which the atmosphere is vitiated, he said, appealing to the people not to lend their ear to rumours.

Khattar said the police are examining mobile dump data and analysing CCTV footage to identify those involved in the violence. With the help of CCTV cameras, 116 people have been arrested and 90 detained.

The guilty will not be spared, he said and appealed to the public for peace.

Khattar said cow protection is a big issue in Nuh and added, "(Cow) smuggling and cow killings take place there." The state police's enforcement bureau will be roped in for cow protection with 100 jawans deputed for the purpose.

He also appealed to youths from the Muslim community to come forward for cow protection. "There are many Muslims who speak and work for cow protection," Khattar said.

Khattar was asked to comment on a remark by Union Minister and Gurugram MP Rao Inderjit Singh's reported remark that it was not right for participants in a religious yatra to carry swords and sticks.

The chief minister said, "I don't have information on what basis he has given such a statement." Speaking to reporters after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, the MP said both communities (Hindus and Muslims) were in possession of weapons, citing videos of the riot.

Khattar said a close vigil is being kept on social media and added that strict action will be taken against those found making hate speeches.

He said data of people spreading misleading propaganda on social media is also being collected and action will be taken against them.

When asked if the Nuh incident was the result of intelligence failure, Khattar asked for the probe to be held first.

On videos emerging that purport to show teenagers pelting stones, he said all things are being investigated.

He also hit out at the opposition parties that claimed the state government failed on law and order, saying they should not indulge in politics in the matter.

Khattar was also asked if the National Security Act would be invoked against rioters.

"Whatever we will do, we will do it and then let you know," he said.

The Haryana chief minister said peace and communal harmony of the state will be maintained. If there is no harmony, it poses a challenge to security, he said.

Replying to a question on some people contemplating migrating from Nuh, he said providing security to all citizens is the state government's responsibility.

"We appeal to all to live peacefully there and maintain brotherhood," he said.

It is not that all sides are against each other, sometimes it is a group of miscreants who vitiate the atmosphere.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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