CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana high court asked lower courts on Wednesday to submit progress reports on 2,110 FIRs lodged during the violent Jat reservation stir in Haryana in February.
Also, the court sought the latest status report on alleged gang rapes in Murthal, which are being probed by a government-constituted special investigation team.
A bench of justice SS Saron and justice Gurmit Ram observed that hearings on the Murthal incident were important but equally imperative were other cases such as FIRs registered against suspects involved in the violence that besieged the state for more than a week. “The other cases should not suffer,” the court said.
The order paved the way for speedy trial on the 2,110 FIRs registered by Haryana Police, of which more than 1,200 were registered in Rohtak alone. At least 30 people were killed during the stir by Jats for reservation in education and jobs while government and private properties were damaged in at least seven districts.
The amicus curiae in the case, senior lawyer Anupam Gupta, pointed out that the number of arrests were comparatively lower than cases registered by police.
The high court then ordered that the district and sessions judges would summon reports from their area magistrates on FIRs registered for the violence. The lower courts will have to submit their reports by July 4.
The court is likely to take up an application on Thursday filed by the government seeking revocation of a stay order on a state law granting reservation to Jats, the state’s dominant community.
Rohtak was the epicentre of widespread rioting and arson during the Jat stir, while Murthal, a popular stopover between Delhi and Chandigarh for its 24-hour eateries, turned into a war zone on the night of February 21.
Protesters burnt vehicles, assaulted motorists, allegedly pulled women out of cars and raped them. A litter of women’s clothes, especially undergarments, at the site gave validity to the allegations, though villagers in the areas said those belonged to nomads who had camped there.